Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Space: Final Post

1)    The Space

Once the space is open, you can have either a host or allow it to be independent. Either way, moderate the room by checking in on the space. Sometimes people will have breakthroughs or might be in need of someone to speak with based on what is discovered.

Checking periodically can also help to refresh the room after multiple usage. For example, one of my prayer rooms featured water for people to use on their hands as they entered. Since this room was a multiple day, at the end of every night, the water was changed out so as to be fresh for the next group.

2)    Breaking Down

Similar to setting up, breaking down should begin with prayer. Clean out each station and wrap the items up, packing them away carefully. If there is a station for people to write prayers or petitions, discard of them properly (prayers are typically burned unless it is stated that they will be used for another reason).  For the LIT Conference, we had a station where people could write their calling either on a dry erase board on tie it to a window pane. The messages were then compiled into a book and sent to the conference planner as a memory of the prayer room.

Pour out any water and bless the room once everything is done to acknowledge the sacred space has now finished its duties.

3)    Interactive Elements.

I’m a big fan of making the space hypersensory, interactive and available for all.  Things are set up on tables of many levels, and all the elements are both recorded and able to be read for multiple abilities.

Again, anything that’s interactive should be kept simple. The focus on the room is the prayer of the participant.

Resources

This only scratches the prayer room surface. Here are other resources for prayer rooms:

http://www.bne.catholic.edu.au/formationandleadership/bceo-formation/Documents/TOP%20TEN%20TIPS%20for%20Designing%20Prayer%20Spaces.pdf

http://learningandtalent-dev.intervarsity.org/sites/learningandtalent/files/Designing%20a%20Prayer%20Room-FW.pdf

https://www.buildfaith.org/creating-a-prayer-space-at-home

https://www.amazon.com

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10508610903146316

https://books.google.com/books?id=XsjTP_ZUZnMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Sacred+Space+Elements+of&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiSweHOotHdAhWlyoMKHfxIBI4Q6AEIWTAJ#v=onepage&q=Sacred%20Space%20Elements%20of&f=false

https://womensministrytoolbox.com/prayer-room-for-your-retreat/

https://womensministrytoolbox.com/prayer-station-ideas-for-your-retreat/

 


My next prayer room will be at the CYAM RESET Retreat in San Antonio, TX. The Prayer Room’s theme is “The Blessing of an Answered Prayer”. I’ll post pictures in a later post about the details!

Amina McIntyre
Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Spaces Part 5

This week is pretty timely because my big two prayer rooms are this weekend! I’m almost done with my personal one as well, which is pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. As I am setting up, I figured it would be cool to share some insights on actually setting up the prayer room.

1)    Pre-Set Up

It’s best to go see the room or have a picture of the room ahead of time, specifically noting the entrances and exits. This is especially important for the flow of traffic is you have a room that is a hybrid with stations and a center space so that each participant can maneuver without interrupting anyone’s need.  Make a map.

Pack away each station in their own bin and labeled for easy set up (this especially helpful if you have a team or will be dropping the items off for someone else to set up).

Make a list of everything and where everything will likely go. This will also help with your shopping or pulling needs. I start with what I own first (I have a theatre/creative background so there are many props, etc, I have access to) then see what is needed to buy. I go to everywhere from thrift store, the Habitat for Humanity Store, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, bookstores, Amazon and Etsy. I also have a couple artist friends like Darci Jaret with Art in the Image I bounce ideas off of and ask for things like cloth and supplies. 

I like to set up the tables ahead of time at home and take a picture of them to see what they might still be missing. This way I can just adjust when I get to the set up phase if there need be.

2)    Set Up

This can be done in one of two ways. Have the team come pray in the room, then bring things in. I actually prefer to bring the group in with all the items first, then pray before setting up.   I think having a small group of people to assist in the set up can build camaraderie and bonding, as well as teach others about the prayer space.

After praying, set up the center (the G-d space) first. If this room will have no stations, place whatever will go in the very center first. I often will place a rug, a scarf or a small table cloth on the floor as a foundation, then build from there.

 I like to set up each station one by one, or give the task to the team to set up a specific one.  Each starts with the table clothes then layers up from there. Always foundation, then place things on the table.

A note about lighting:  Prayer spaces tend to have low or dimer light (not dark, just dim).  If there isn’t a dimmer, candles can help with this.

After setting everything up, you be the first one to use the prayer room. Sit in the center space and pray.  If you have stations, walk through each element so you can feel if something might be missing (bibles, tissues, etc).


Amina McIntyre
Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Spaces Part 4

I didn’t mention that in the process of working on my own prayer room space, I’m curating a space for a church on May 4. This project is actually quite large because there are two prayer spaces in one. This is an awesome time to reflect on personalizing and customizing.

1)    Cater to your space (individual)

I’ve written a lot about spaces for groups, but I want to write a little note about having individual space as well.

Before I moved, I was in just one room so I literally had a prayer corner of my room. I had my Bible and other devotionals/holy books I use for reading and deepening my call. I had a shelf with candles, sea shells, water, angels and other symbols that I might use in my prayer time (depending on what I’m in need of).  I also had one large prayer pillow that I sit on and a painted picture of my favorite scripture Job 33:4. Because it was so small, I set up boundaries with cobalt blue bottles that have been washed and prayed over. They are a reminder for me to even take this space seriously.  This space was literally 2x4 feet in my bedroom.

My ideas are similar for this conference space and the one I’m designing for this year.

 The Center Space

I place a lot of emphasis about the center space. The center of the room is the most holy space, where God is.   You can have pillows and blankets or people to sit. Some center spaces have built an altar for people to kneel. I often place candles (light of the world) or a small scripture or quote in the center for focus. 

Stations

Stations are intentional spiritual discernment areas that typically include a prayer activity. They should be a physical manifestation of the scripture or theme. Because they are guided practices, there are clearly written out directions and a task.  These tasks should be kept simple so that the focus can be on their meditation, not completing the task to perfection.

Examples include:

·      At a retreat I visited in Nashville, the stations were layered with various colors of cloth and both familiar and tangible things. One station was about letting go of sins, where we could choose an acorn, pray our sin into it and bury it into the sand.

·      At RESET18, one of the stations was on Lamentation and participants could whisper their lament into a bean bag and throw it at the wall.

·      During LIT, one of the stations was mirrors buried in sand, where participants symbolically dug into the sand to see their reflection of what G-d called them to do, then returned the mirror so that G-d could continue refining their calls.

My Progress: This week, I’m actually furnishing my prayer space. I went shopping for all sorts of things, which I’m excited about! I bought fabric (both Walmart and Hobby Lobby have fabric). My prayer room is featuring small lights, so I bought electronic candles. I like these candles - I’ve used some in corporate prayer rooms before - because they come with a remote. This is smaller set that the ones I used in the larger rooms because my space is much smaller.

My other purchases are:

Decorative shower curtains.

Baby building blocks to write on.

Sand

Dirt and seeds.

Amina McIntyre
Artists Day Off

Artist’s Day Off: Purging


For most artists, Monday is an off day after a long weekend.  Even if you have a “day” job, you’re likely not attending to your craft today.  Whichever “weekend” day it is, spend a little time regrouping or catching up.  Here we are!

 

ARTIST DAY OFF

 

A little self care…

I’m in the middle of a move.  It’s hard. I hate moving – it has always been my least favorite past time. One of the reasons is because I have to face memories I thought I put away. 

 

The cool thing about the move is I am coming across resumes, awards, certificates and records of my past accomplishments that were such milestones at the time. I remember thinking how hard they were to make through.  I remember thinking those were the highest spaces I could reach.  Now, I’m much farther along.

 

The reminder has been a source of affirmation for me in setting goals for my next steps.

 

So this week, my self-care is purging the things I do not need for the next step, which includes clothes, extra drafts of plays and things that may clutter up the possibilities.   I am also compiling my past wins and memories so that I have good encouragement for the future!  At the very minimum, I can accomplish what has already been done.

 

Some little wins

A little plan of action…

This week, I encourage you to take a look at your artistic accomplishments to remind you of how far you’ve come. Was it an internship? Your first paint sold? A reading of your play? That role you always wanted? Feel free to share with me what is was.

 

Be good to yourselves!

 

ASM

 

Amina McIntyre
Midweek Ministry: Curating Spaces Part 3

Recently, I’ve been able to curate a few prayer/sacred spaces for groups in conferences and retreats. The feedback has been insightful and humbling, but also I’ve receive many questions about how to duplicate these spaces.   I’m by no means an expert, but here are a few hints and tips on creating these spaces.

3)    Design the space.

In the room prepared for the CYAM RESET18, the retreat theme was “Refresh, Reclaim, Renew”, so the elements were about what a person might need to refresh themselves. There was a center space that was a circle of chairs with candles in the center for just reflection and prayer. There was also a guided meditation with a map so people could take a prayer journey (more on this during stations). Morning and evening prayer were held in the Prayer Room in the middle circle so that the energy and ritual of the retreat were present in the room.

For the LIT Conference, the overall goal was based on Matthew taking the light into the world; there was a take away teaching handbook based on 1 Samuel 3 specifically focusing callings and the need to  “Hear, Discern, Respond”.  Again, the center was a circle with candles and light was infused in all spaces of the room. This space also had stations for those who wanted to take the call journey as was encouraged by the conference.

For both, in starting, I drew of a map of the room and designed them based on where things would in up. Even though in real life some things do shift, this guide helps with clarity.  I design all my rooms to engage each of the senses and to be interactive without overwhelming participants.

One of my favorite prayer rooms I’ve visited had a labyrinth and footsteps to other places. Even if you didn't do a labyrinth, the walk around the room was a showcase of how you could take a spiritual walk.

 


Update in my own home. This week, I played with some design elements. I decide my overall feel would be a space to breathe. My favorite verse after all these years is Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me live”, so my room is centered around the notion of “breath of God”. How can I have my room be a place where I can catch my breath.

Things that restore me are candles, devotions and water - beaches and waterfalls, in particular. My favorite color is blue and I love pillows and throws. Often when I pray, I sleep (check out The Nap Ministry…there’s a prayer in this). My space will be reflective of this. I’ll buy some oops paint for the accent wall, and cover the openings with fabric, either blankets, probably the $3 throws from CVS, or upholstery fabric.

I’ll share some of my shopping adventures next week.

Amina McIntyre
Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Spaces Part 1: Purification

Recently, I’ve been able to curate a few prayer/sacred spaces for groups in conferences and retreats. The feedback has been insightful and humbling, but also I’ve receive many questions about how to duplicate these spaces.   I’m by no means an expert, but here are a few hints and tips on creating these spaces.

What is a prayer room?

A prayer room/space is a sacred quiet area designated for prayer, meditation, reflection, discernment, and listening. They are typically off to the side away from the larger traffic and energy of the house/business/conference, and there is an intentional protective space here.  The prayer room is a place to celebrate and leave petitions; it can be a place to have a breakthrough or be empowered. The prayer room may also be a place to decompress (especially for introverts and those who must put out a lot of energy on a regular basis). Each room is different and is catered to the needs of the individual or conference.

1)    Pray

It seems to go without saying, but we never assume. A prayer space is a place of worship and if you're creating the space, prayer should be a part of every conversation or thought to setting up the room. More importantly, curators must remember the responsibility of caring for the persons who will engage in and with the room.  From the inception to set up to break down, pray at all stages of the creation.

Prayer room Blue Print for St. James UMC

Prayer room Blue Print for St. James UMC

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This week, I cleaned and purified my room. Some use candles, some use simple water. I wanted to use something a little more intentional, an incense. Mine of choice is Palo Santo, which literally means, “holy wood”. Palo Santo is in the frankincense family, works to shift your energy, clearing heightened emotions and healing physical conditions. Like frankincense and myrrh, it purifies, yet instead of a loud, dominating smell and clouds, palo santo leaves the room with a sweet, sticky, sappy smell.

Amina McIntyre
Artists Day Off

Artist’s Day Off


For most artists, Monday is an off day after a long weekend.  Even if you have a “day” job, you’re likely not attending to your craft today.  Whichever “weekend” day it is, spend a little time regrouping or catching up.  Here we are!

 

A little self care…

I’m a workaholic. With my hands in so many things that I often don't take enough time out to sleep. But I can’t create if I’m not resting.  You can’t create if you are not resting! We’ll burn out, get overwhelmed or want to quit.  A great way of avoiding this is by intentionally managing our energy.

 

This week, ask yourself, when are you sleeping? Are you getting a restful sleep or just two or three hours? How much sleep do you need to work to your maximum potential? How can you get your sleep schedule on target?

 

A little win…

All wins count. This past week, I finished two short plays, coached a few clients, decided to make sure to put out a newsletter for everyone on the list. They all seem very small in comparison – the plays aren’t full length, only under 5 pages.  The calls were with current clients, even though I’m adding a new one.  The newsletter

 

What are your wins for the week? Did you register for a workshop or finish a piece?  Did you finally order the one tool you need?

 

A little plan of action…

On our day off, in addition to rewarding yourself with self-care, reward yourself with recommitting to your craft.  What is the one thing you to do for your craft this week?   Write it down and place sometime in your calendar to get it accomplished!

 

Be good to yourselves!

 

ASM

Amina McIntyre
Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Spaces
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Last year, I discovered my love of creating prayer spaces. These are meditation and calming spaces where we can center and commune with G-d. These spaces are a sanctuary - a physical retreat in your own home or conference space.

In a time where we move so much and are so busy, there’s something about having a space to sit, pray, meditate or have time to get in touch with our inner sacred. As I myself am ending my transition period (it’s taken so many months for me to resettle after my return from Austin – more on that in a different post), I’ve relied more and more on making quiet time to reflect and be at peace.

In creating retreat spaces, sometimes it just a matter of having one in your home or at a conference.

I’m planning to create a prayer nook in my home where I can have my own prayer notes. Today, I’ll share the before pictures. Over the next few weeks, I’ll also drop a few hints for creating your own prayer space whether at home or at a conference.

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Just a little bit of work to handle. I’ll start by cleaning it out and purifying the space. More on that next week!

Amina McIntyre
Artists' Day Off

Artist’s Day Off


For most artists, Monday is an off day after a long weekend.  Even if you have a “day” job, you’re likely not attending to your craft today.  Whichever “weekend” day it is, spend a little time regrouping or catching up.  Here we are!

 

A little self care…

I’m a workaholic. With my hands in so many things that I often don't take enough time out to sleep. But I can’t create if I’m not resting.  You can’t create if you are not resting! We’ll burn out, get overwhelmed or want to quit.  A great way of avoiding this is by intentionally managing our energy.

 

This week, ask yourself, when are you sleeping? Are you getting a restful sleep or just two or three hours? How much sleep do you need to work to your maximum potential? How can you get your sleep schedule on target?

 

A little win…

All wins count. This past week, I finished two short plays, coached a few clients, decided to make sure to put out a newsletter for everyone on the list. They all seem very small in comparison – the plays aren’t full length, only under 5 pages.  The calls were with current clients, even though I’m adding a new one.  The newsletter

 

What are your wins for the week? Did you register for a workshop or finish a piece?  Did you finally order the one tool you need?

A little plan of action…

On our day off, in addition to rewarding yourself with self-care, reward yourself with recommitting to your craft.  What is the one thing you to do for your craft this week?   Write it down and place sometime in your calendar to get it accomplished!

 Be good to yourselves!

The newness!

As I start to write much more, I’m going to share more about my adventures. The truth is between writing, editing, and ministry, I get to travel and daily discover new gifts. Starting in April, here’s what’s going on.

Monday - Artist’s Day off. There are so many things artists need to do to renew themselves, and Mondays are often the only time we’re able to do so. Join me for this reflection of artists downtime activities

Tuesdays - Creatives Playground. I’ll share snippets of scenes I’m working (of every genre). If I’m reading or watching anything profound, you’ll get my reaction here.

Wednesday - A midweek ministry day. I’ll be tracking my progress of my personal prayer room and other prayer spaces.

Thursday - Travel Tracker - Thursday is the best day to buy plane tickets so I’ll share places I’ve been and other travel reflections on this day

Friday - Freelance Friday.

Seems like a lot, but it’s all in a day’s work. Honestly, I’m pretty excited to share my writing with you. Besides, there are plenty of pictures on my phone I need to share with folks, too, so…join me in my Musings.

Amina McIntyre
Attitude of Gratitude
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This year has certainly been a whirlwind!  I’m grateful for the many times I’ve traveled, business adventures and newfound clarity on so many times. For now, I just want to wish everyone a thank you for following!

LaKesha Womack
Memorial Day Mashup: How to Kick Off Summer

This Memorial Day weekend, I am arms deep in a few play events, which is such an awesome problem to have! Here they are briefly:

THE ATLANTA POD PLAYS


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Found Stages and Little Five Arts Alive‘s Atlanta Pod Plays is first up this weekend!.  Found Stages, a relatively new theatre company in Atlanta, commissioned a few playwrights and developed site specific plays at locations in Little Five Points.  My play called, “Sit Anywhere,” is designed to be heard in front of Bass Family Lofts.  Check them out at https://soundcloud.com/found-stages-…/…/the-atlanta-podplays. Also, stop by the Found Stages site, after all, we were named a Best Bet for the weekend!

THAT WHAT BURIED

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In 2014, while a Horizon Theatre Apprentice, I started working on two full lengths. I often work on two plays at the same time – the ideas just come time simultaneously.  Point is, in 2017, I made a promise to myself to finish these plays so that I can move on to my next subjects, so I’ve been working to get my unfinished full lengths completed. First it was On the Third Day, about a family dealing with the lose of an immediate family member. The second is That What Buried (pictured above) about three African American sisters in Paris in 1955.

This reading is presented by Working Title Playwrights at the Alliance Theatre in the Movement Studio on the 3rd floor on May 30, 2017 at 7:30pm. It features one of my favorite directors in Mia Kristin Smith, Horizon buddy Hannah Church as Stage Manager, and actresses Dionna Davis, Brittany L. Smith, and Victoria Wilson. The room is small, so get there early!

THE ONLINE ARTIST RESIDENCY

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I’m excited to announce my curation of an online interview web summit about the business of the arts. The Online Artist Residency kicks off June 6th…you should join now and be the first to know all the juicy things about the summit.  A much longer post to come!

LaKesha Womack
Grateful List: Residencies Abound!

In this season of being thankful, I’m writing a few posts to reflect the goodness that was 2016.  Quite a few things to acknowledge, so here we go! First up, residencies.

This past year, I had the distinct honor and privilege of attending three Writer’s Residencies. Residencies are ways for Writers and Artists of all disciplines to get time to focus solely on their craft and complete a project of their choosing.  Many of the residencies are in absolutely beautiful locations around the country – sometimes in rural areas, sometimes in the middle of major cities. All have the seclusion necessary for all cultivating the creative process.

Blackacre Conservancy

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The first was a Writer in Residence at Blackacre Conservancy in Louisville, KY, through a partnership with Spalding University’s MFA-W Program.  Blackacre’s residency started just this summer and welcomes primarily writers in all genres.  My two weeks were spent in an apartment in the farm house as well as presenting workshops at the Chestnut Street YMCA with the  Black Achieversand University of Louisville Lincoln Scholars program. The Black Achievers and I spoke on life skills and what my life as a writer. The Lincoln Scholars learned the math and science involved in Theatre (see the presentation here).

My writing primarily focused on getting the first full draft of On the Third Day, a play that looks at the Lansing Family, who, torn apart by a death, must put themselves together again to make a major decision.  Muhammad Ali passed during my residency, so I was able to see some of the memorial and catch up with childhood friend (now EPSN Reporter) Coley Harvey! I also met author Kim Michele Richardson (via Twitter!) who brought me the most welcome gift and caramel apple pie, and saw plays at Theatre 502 and The Bardstown.

Taleamor Park

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The second residency was a Writer in Residence at Taleamor Park in LaPorte, In.  A new residence hosted by Clifford and Lisa Lee Peterson, it is nestled on a farm. Part of my time was to used to assist with planting some of the garden and cleaning out the barn.  While there, we had weekly potluck, an Open House and got to see some of the city of LaPorte, Michigan City and even Chicago!

While in residence, I worked on a first full draft of That What Buried, a play about African American sisters in Paris in the 1950s.

Hambidge

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Most recently, I was a Writer in Residence at the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences as a Fulton County Fellow.  Nestled in the woods of Rabun Gap, GA with no phone service and limited internet access, this residency sits on the land of costumer, activist and weaver Mary Hambidge.  I lived in the Foxfire cabin and in residence with several artists/writers from all over the country with whom I dined Tuesday-Friday.

While in residence, my goal was to revise On the Third Day and That What Buried to prepare them for submission opportunities.  Revision is probably the hardest things for most writers to do, but Hambidge is the perfect place for it.  The artists helped me talk through some of the points and reminded me of things I needed to consider. More than anything, the cabin made me refine my method a little by having me visually ask questions and respond.  I also wrote two one minute pieces for the Atlanta One Minute Play Festival (as special event coming soon!) and some smaller devotions and sermons.

Unfortunately, my residency was cut a little short due to the North Ga wildfires. Wishing Jamie, Christine, the evacuated artists and everyone at Hambidge good luck.  Praying for rain to come before any damage starts!

LaKesha Womack
It's Time!

Graduation happened – I’ve officially Mastered all things Theological (as they say).  Put that with all things African American and African Diaspora and Creative Writing and you’ll see that this is all great fodder for plays, poetry, and writings to come.

What’s next? Right now, I’m preparing to do my Visiting Writing stint at Blackacre, handling some church productions, and developing a workshop. Also, June is a 30 day month, so you can join me walking through 30 Days of Peace and Praise.

Send me a message or just check me out on the pages here!

LaKesha Womack
The Next Phase

Over the past two years, I’ve been working on my Masters of Theological Studies to solidify the ministry knowledge.  It’s been a moment of self-discovery, particularly on how I relate and pour myself into the arts. If nothing else, it has actually made me a better artist, more observant to my surroundings and more aware of my own voice.  I graduate very soon, May 9th, and am looking forward to jumping into so highly creative opportunities (which you will see listed in the What I’m Up To section).

I’m also going to be making another book available soon, this one of plays for worship, so be on the look out for new details. Also, during the month of June, I’ll be doing a guided 30 Days of Peace and Praise using Facebook Direct. Many exciting things happening that you don’t want to miss out on!

As always, I’m involved in many theatre things, including the annual One Minute Play Festival.  Take a look at that What I’m Up To page!

LaKesha Womack
Welcome!

It had been my dream for years to be a professional writer. What I have found, in all my workings, is that I’m not actually sure what that means. I love to capture my emotions on paper, transfer tastes to ideas on the computer screens and present colors as a prism in the mind.  Occasionally, people read these ideas and tell me what they think about it.  Sometimes its on a magazine, other times one a blog.  Whatever the case, if it means I’m professional, I embrace it.  I humbly submit these irrational thoughts, these travel tracks, these opportunities for growth.

Welcome to my world.  

LaKesha Womack