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.