From General to Jurisdictional Conferences, or How Methodists Love the Prayer Beads!

There’s been a bit of radio silence on my end. This is both because General Conference was intense on many levels, but also because I had to run back and finish the draft for my next book, which I turned in just last week (woo hoo!). Since then I’ve been working to get caught up on emails, voicemails, Etsy messages, Etsy orders, Facebook posts, To Do lists, etc. This is what my phone looked like post-General Conference/Book Deadline:

How does one manage 1,000+ emails?
How does one manage 1,000+ emails?

All of this craziness has been good because it has been all about the prayer beads. Indeed, this is now officially a full-time ministry for me, which is just about as cool as it gets. Though it’s not news for y’all, faithful readers, turns out that people love the prayer beads!

Prayer Strands at General Conference 2016

Indeed, the prayer beads were well-received at General Conference 2016! Here are some of the highlights:

  • We took the prayer strands you made, packed them up in gift bags, and laid them at each place for the delegates and bishops. They looked so great!
    All spiffed up and ready to go!
    All spiffed up and ready to go!
    At each delegate's place at the table, along with everything else they will need to get through the Conference.
    At each delegate’s place at the table, along with everything else they will need to get through the Conference.

    The tables are set.
    The tables are set.
  • We took 2,000 sets of prayer strands and it wasn’t enough! Every delegate, bishop, and General Conference staff member received a set. Once they did, hundreds of visitors and others began asking for sets of their own. We had to work fast to make additional strands, and even scheduled two impromptu prayer bead workshops in the process.IMG_2711
  • The prayer strands were offered to the delegates during the opening worship service, which was beautiful. Later that day, this showed up on social media, which made me howl with laughter.

    Our very own Oprah moment!
    Our very own Oprah moment!
  • The General Conference Worship Team included praying with beads in SEVEN of the worship services throughout the ten day period. How great is that?!? You can listen to archives here.
  • At every available opportunity we told people that you had made the prayer strands. It was a powerful way to remind them of all the people who had been praying for them – and were continuing to pray for them – throughout this process. We had a slideshow presentation of photos and notes you included when you sent the prayer strands back to me. Such a wonderful witness!IMG_2743IMG_2753IMG_2754
  • We knew that not everyone was going to be excited about prayer beads. While I’m used to hearing from people – particularly Americans – who think prayer beads are only for Catholics, we heard that people from other areas of the world had particular reasons to be concerned about prayer beads. I had the opportunity to talk to people from a variety of nations, including Congo, Nigeria, and Philippines. They explained that the indigenous religions in their countries often use beads to curse people, or in similar practices that have other negative connotations. No wonder they would be worried about beads in prayer! However, they also said they were intrigued with the prayer strands, since they had been presented in the name of Christ, had the cross and flame on the medallion, and were being used in Christian worship at General Conference. They planned to share them with the folks at home and were curious to see how people would react. Think about that: the prayer beads you made may just end up in a far away land and be used to offer new ways of connecting with God. So awesome!

    I had such fun talking with Framer, a university president from the Philippines, about prayer beads.
    I had such fun talking with Framer, a university president from the Philippines, about prayer beads.

Prayer Strands at Jurisdictional Conferences

As you can see, the prayer strands were a significant part of General Conference 2016. Indeed, we heard so many people talk about having them available for the jurisdictional conferences in July. Even as General Conference was ending, orders began coming in for the kits. And that’s great, because we still have MANY supplies left to make the strands.

So here’s your chance! If you didn’t get to make prayer strands for General Conference, or if you did and loved it so much that you want to make more, order your kits! Jurisdictional conferences are the week of July 11th, so you’ve got time to order the kits and get them ready!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Prayer strands at General Conference happened because of you. Thank you for the faithful offering of your love, time, talent, and prayers. We are deeply grateful.

Your love, time, talent, and prayers are represented in these prayer strands.
Your love, time, talent, and prayers are represented in these prayer strands.

One Response to From General to Jurisdictional Conferences, or How Methodists Love the Prayer Beads!

  1. I am humbled and joyful and teary…all at the same time…to see my note to you! Praise God for you and all of the people who have been involved in this project! Blessings and peace, Lynne Trace. New Bloomfield UM Church, New Bloomfield, PA.