April 2016

It’s April and Spring is in full swing! Thank you for connecting with us each month. Feel free to share with your friends!

 Our Latest News

Join My Quiet Spaces!


Upper Room Books has recently launched a new website called My Quiet Spaces, and we are thrilled to be a part of it! Based on Patricia Wilson’s book, Quiet Spaces: Prayer Interludes for Women, the website is designed by women for women of various backgrounds and traditions, with the purpose of gathering with each other and God. Each month will have a theme, complete with a featured book, online questions and forums, journal activities, videos, etc. It is beautifully designed. March 2017 will feature content related to my upcoming book; we’ll post updates closer to the time. Meanwhile, we encourage you to check it out!

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Protestant prayer beads for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

General Conference 2016 Update

With only two weeks to go, we are still working to get kits out and meet our goal of 2,016 prayer strands to take with us to Portland, Oregon. As of this writing we have 1,517 completed prayer strands in hand, so we are close to reaching our goal!

As we’ve previously reported, our challenge has been in keeping up with the demand for kits! While this is a great problem to have, it has created stress for us and, more to the point, for the churches and groups who want the kits! We apologize! The prayer strands are made with olive wood beads that come from the Holy Land. We’ve been waiting for more than six weeks to get more of the beads, which has been frustrating. But as of this writing, the beads have finally reached the U.S., and we expect to receive them this week. Rest assured that as soon as the beads are in our hands we will add them to the kits and get them in the mail to you. However, please let us know if this delay forces you to cancel your plans to make the beads and we will issue a refund. Thanks for your understanding and patience!

Are you going to General Conference 2016? Stop by our table and say “hey” to Kristen! She’ll be there May 10th – 12th and invites anyone who is interested to come and talk about prayer beads.

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2016 festival logo 2
Come See us at Inman Park Festival this Weekend!


If you are within driving distance of Atlanta, Georgia, we invite you to come see us at Inman Park Festival this weekend, April 30th – May 1st. Voted one of the top ten festivals in the Atlanta area, Inman Park Festival happens right in our neighborhood! We will have a booth filled with prayer beads, prayer cards, holding crosses, and other prayer tools. Plus, we will have a fun photo booth!

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New in the Studio

New kit designs!


We have two new kit designs! Our prayer bead kit collection now includes Green Riverstone with Emerald Green Fire-Polished Glass, and Natural Riverstone with Dark Aqua Fire-Polished Glass. As always, these kits come with everything you need to make a full set of Protestant prayer beads (minus the two tools).

Our prayer bead kits are one of our best-selling items, so we wanted to expand our range of colors. In the future, we are planning to add premium kits that include higher-quality gemstones. We’ll keep you posted!


 Praying: World Disaster

Daily Meditation

Prayer Bead Devotion

Recently, there have been reports of earthquakes and other disasters throughout the world, creating a desire in us to pray for those affected. We invited you to use this prayer bead devotion, or the one-line meditation, to pray for victims of natural disasters.

Cross: Creator God,

Invitatory Bead: we bring our cries to you,

Resurrection Bead: in the name of our Son, Jesus Christ.

First Cruciform Bead: We acknowledge the goodness of your Creation.

Week Beads, 1st Set: use each bead to consider the wonder of God’s Creation.

Second Cruciform Bead: Yet, we also recognize how Creation is broken, resulting in devastation.

Week Beads, 2nd Set: use each bead to grieve for and recognize the brokenness of Creation.

Third Cruciform Bead: We pray for all those who have been affected by recent disasters in our world.

Week Beads, 3rd Set: use each bead to pray for victims of natural disasters, whether they are trapped, left homeless and hungry, injured, traumatized, and/or grieving the loss of loved ones.

Fourth Cruciform Bead: We pray for those who will minister to victims of natural disasters.

Week Beads, 4th Set: use each bead to pray for those who will provide aid and relief to disaster victims.

Resurrection Bead: In your Son’s name we pray,

Invitatory Bead: Amen.

Kristen’s Favorite Things

I’ve talked before about how much the word hesed has come to mean to me. This Hebrew word, which describes God’s loving kindness, has really helped me understand the depth of God’s love for me and the world. A few years ago I was looking on Etsy for artwork that might include the word hesed. One shop popped up: Risa Aqua. I was immediately taken by the beauty of her work. At first, it was the gorgeous colors and images that caught my attention, but the more I looked, the more I saw the artist’s deep faith reflected in her paintings.

One print that caught my interest was titled “Modeh Ani.” Reading the description, I learned that it is Jewish tradition to say “Modeh ani,” or “I am grateful” as soon as you wake up in the morning. This is a way of expressing gratitude for God’s promise of a new day and God’s many blessings. I loved that so much I bought a copy of the print and have made it a practice every morning to say, “Modah ani” (as I understand it, women say “modah” while men say “modeh”). This print hangs on the wall of my studio. I have also purchased this and many other prints from Risa over the years; I love to give her prints as gifts to my friends. This has given me a chance to get to know Risa a bit, and that has been a blessing as well.

I hope you will take time to visit Risa’s shop and see all of her beautiful paintings. Each one contains great detail and wonderful images of faith.