Winter Retreat Report Afternoon Prayers
One of the things that we want to do at retreat is be sure that students are always given ways to worship. On Sunday afternoon this year we had several options. We had 2 seminars and 3 contemplative prayer activities. I didn’t get a chance to go to the seminars, but my students were talking about what they had learned afterwards, and that is a good sign.
We 3 prayer choices. There were 2 walks. One was a modified version of the stations of the cross that we nailed to trees around the camp. Students would go to each station alone or in groups. At each station they were given a prayer and an activity. In a similar fashion we set up a walk that used symbols of Christianity as a guide to prayer. A guy in our church made these great wooden boxes and we placed in each a different Christian symbol (yes there are more than just a cross and a fish). Students would hold the symbol in their hands and read about the history of that symbol and then have a time of meditation and prayer.
I love these "walks" and would love to come up with a 3rd option next year. The only problem this year was that it was so cold. It is hard to stay focused and pray when you are shivering.
Our 3rd prayer option was a prayer chapel. We used the small chapel at the camp and turned it into a personal prayer room. We included 6 stations that students could use to guide in their prayers and we asked them to stay for 30 minutes. I was a chaperone for part of the time and it was cool to see students come in as groups, but not all leave at the same time. They would be involved in their own prayer time and not be concerned when all of their friends were leaving. It was pretty cool.
I am working on getting the 6 stations from the prayer chapel in a form that can be placed here on the web site so keep checking back.