18 Then the Lord God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” (Genesis 2.15)
Below are ideas for interactive prayer stations focusing on the creation story and how we are created to be in community.
Genesis 2 is God creating human (‘adam) and finding the perfect compliment to the ‘adam. After naming all the living creatures, still no perfect compliment was found, so God put ‘adam to sleep and fashioned another – someone that would be compatible. In Kevin Ford’s “Transforming Church: Bringing Out the Good to Get to Great,” he refers to the creation story to explain how “we were made then to be creative within the context of life in community. Relationships inspire us to create, and creativity happens best in the context of relationships. We cannot be genuinely creative outside of community with creativity. God calls us to “creating community.”
As a step in creating community in church, Ford quotes sociologist Ray Oldenburg from his book “Celebrating the Third Place.” In it, he suggests that “the lack of casual relationships puts too much strain on family and work relationships. First place is home. Second place is the workplace. Third place is where casual relationships occur. Sometimes it’s a coffee shop.” Sometimes it’s at the gym. Sometimes it’s in the elevator. Sometimes it is right after worship during coffee fellowship hour. Oldenburg says that not every relationship must involve a deep connection with another person. “The development of casual relationships is every bit as important. The concept of third place is one where people have a place to hang out, meet new friends, and talk with old friends. Small talk is not unimportant talk – it is an essential part of community. That is the purpose and mission of the church – to be a third place – help strangers make new friends and provide a place where old friends can catch up.” Especially in a transient city like San Francisco, where I live, how more important is it to have a place where people of faith can connect with one another. It is what God created us to do. It is how God created us to be.
As an attempt to invite worshipers to explore the third place, these prayer stations were designed and inspired by Soul Pancake. One of the many things Soul Pancake does is create these third places for people to find a connection.
Interactive Prayer Station #1: common prayers
Materials: Ball Pit Balls, Labels, Sharpies, Post-its with corresponding colors to the balls
Interactive Prayer Station #2: flying prayers
Materials: Paper, Sharpies, Instructions to make a paper airplane
Interactive Prayer Station #3: words to live by
Materials: a blank space for people to write on, Sharpies