February 2016

Welcome to our February newsletter! We look forward to connecting with you each month via email. Look here for our latest news, devotions, designs, and ideas. If there are things you’d like to hear about, let us know! We want this newsletter to be meaningful for you. And feel free to share with your friends!

 Our Latest News

Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Commun.

Prayer Beads at
General Conference 2016
The United Methodist Council of Bishops, in partnership with the worship team and The Upper Room, have decided to give every General Conference delegate a set of Protestant prayer beads. This is historic! And it’s an incredible opportunity to share this new (ancient) prayer tool on a large scale and in a way that, hopefully, invites them to experience God’s presence in new ways.

We are so honored and blessed to play a role in it. Learn how you can, too.


New in the Studio

The Rev.Tom Albin holds Protestant prayer beads created for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications


Join us in praying for General Conference!   Order your official GC2016 Prayer Strand!

We are pleased to offer this limited edition General Conference 2016 prayer strand in our Etsy shop! This is the same strand that will be issued to GC2016 delegates. Order yours and join us in praying for GC2016!

These strands are for a limited time only. Orders will be fulfilled while supplies last directly from our Etsy shop.

 Praying: LENT

Daily Meditation

Prayer Bead Devotion

This Lent, I invite you to be pilgrims with me on the journey towards the cross; to take up Lenten practices that will strip away and cleanse and change us. This journey will be difficult and uncomfortable. We won’t always know where we’re going. But with each step we will grow closer to God in ways we never expected. Then we can proclaim God’s transforming presence with us even in the midst of pain and tragic loss.

A Lenten Prayer Bead Devotion

Cross: God of the journey,

Invitatory Bead: be with us as we walk

Resurrection Bead: with your Son towards the cross.

First Cruciform Bead: May we heed your call to be pilgrims.

Week Beads, First Set: Use each bead to listen for God’s call to pilgrimage for you.

Second Cruciform Bead: May we engage in practices that make us more like Christ.

Week Beads, Second Set: Use each bead to consider what Lenten practice(s) you may choose to follow Christ more faithfully.

Third Cruciform Bead: May we remain faithful in our journey, knowing there will be times when we stumble, backtrack, or become lost.

Week Beads, Third Set: Use each bead to ask for God’s help in remaining faithful throughout this journey, particularly when it becomes difficult.

Fourth Cruciform Bead: May we grow closer to you each day, beyond our own imagination and ideas.

Week Beads, Fourth Set: Use each bead to focus on God and observe ways you are growing closer to God each day.

Resurrection Bead: In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ,

Invitatory Bead: who calls us to journey with him to the cross.

Cross: Amen

Kristen’s Favorite Things

I first saw this candle when I visited The Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, KY. I was immediately taken with it because Julian’s quote is one of my favorites. I’ve since bought several of these as gifts for friends and family members. Lighting the candle and repeating the phrase is a wonderful way of affirming God’s grace and presence in our lives. The candle is sold is a variety of places, but I have ordered many times from the Episcopal Bookstore and have been extremely impressed by their gracious customer service.


Our Latest Podcast

from the well

I’m pleased to continue hosting The Academy for Spiritual Formation’s From the Well series. We’ve just released episode 11, “Love, Lent, and the Campaign Trail: A Tale of Pilgrimage and Transformation.” It’s my attempt to see what these February events have to tell us about God’s love. In this episode, we hear from Dr. Roberta Bondi and Dr. Loyd Allen. Together, they guide us in exploring the idea of pilgrimage as spiritual discipline, a way of helping us move closer to God’s image of love with us. Lent is an opportunity to take such a pilgrimage, so that we may be transformed and ultimately, transform our nation and the world. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.