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Prayer Stations

Here and there I've mentioned that this fall my congregation started a second worship service on Saturday evenings. We've had attendance of about 15-20 each week, and growing into it. We have some folks who are new to the church, some who were members but hadn't been coming to worship, some who come now to both services.

It is more 'contemporary' than our Sunday service, in that we use The Faith We Sing, I preach from an outline instead of manuscript (eek!), and we use guitars and piano instead of organ. But the intent was mostly just to offer a second worship time. The different tone is just by default (or the Holy Spirit!) But it has a more meditative, contemplative quality because of the smaller size. I really enjoy it - the spirit and atmosphere.

So, the setting makes it a prime arena to try some new things with worship. We had a blessing of the animals service this year, a covenant renewal service, etc. Now I've been looking into a "choose your own" prayer station model. I've looked around online, and gotten some - inspirations. I particularly love the images/thoughts here at pomomusings.

But, most of my congregation has never experienced worship in this way (your typical central new york congregation) - thoughts on easing in? Ideas about prayer stations? Suggestions? What would you have at prayer stations? How would you help people feel less uncomfortable at a first-time experience like this?

Update: Jamison shared this great link with me with complete descriptions of several prayer station, on Wes's Crosspoint Fellowship site/blog

Comments

Anonymous said…
Check out what my friend Wes Allen is doing at Crosspoint over in Philly. His website has a lot of prayer station ideas, and other stuff regarding alternative worship stuff. Pretty cool stuff.
Greg Hazelrig said…
I bet by this time next year you'll be loving the outline and maybe even doing it at both services.
Beth Quick said…
Jamison - excellent, excellent resource. Thank you! When I have more time I'll probably link to it in the main post.

Greg - Maybe. But I won't hold my breath ;) In seminary, in preaching class, my prof. politely said, after my first non-manuscript sermon which we were require to do - "I think your strength is in manuscript preaching." I agreed! But who knows. I'm glad at least to no longer be completely petrified at the thought...
DannyG said…
Jonathan Norman has a book comming out noted on his blog site "Worship Feast Prayer Stations"...looks like it might fit your bill. He also described the use of prayer stations in a post during advent..but it seems to have fallen off his site.
Anonymous said…
Hey!
Jamison is a good friend!
If you want to IM/E-mail you can contact me through the CrossPointings.org web-site. My wife's good at developing prayer stations as well...
hey beth, as dannyg mentioned, jonathon are working up a cdrom project hopefully out by summer going through how to do them, ideas, etc. a real intro level concept. however, till then, email me with you thoughts, i generally help brainstorm with some of the folks around here that do that stuff. also, i'd check out the uk stuff. www.smallfire.org & www.alternativeworship.com i like them because they are usually a bit more liturgical.
Anonymous said…
elizabeth,
just stumbled on, and for what it is worth, i think it's a fantastic and amazing thing you are doing. keep growing in Spirit, and know there are others cheering you on, hoping you will not be alone in just starting a worship like this. here's to hoping and praying it into being in MN.
Peace to you.
John said…
Ditto what other commentors have said: consult Jonathon. He is apparently an expert on the subject.
Kari said…
We started an alt worship last year and we are loving it. How's this for challenging? We don't even have a sermon - just a dialogue between community members. We love prayer stations. I can send you ideas and links if you'd like. Our blog is: www.bemidjiumc.blogspot.com.

Kari
blessings :) I think it's great that you are offering choice and it's encouraging people to come back into church

prayer stations are a good idea and I'm looking forwrd to reading how it goes with you :=)
Anonymous said…
Here is a helpful site that has tons of prayer station ideas.
www.creativeprayer.com

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