On Sunday I spent the afternoon with the children of John’s Creek United Methodist Church, just north of Atlanta. After leading a weekend retreat for the women this past January they invited me back to share the gift of prayer beads with their children. I was excited to see friends I’d make back in January, meet their children, and spend the day talking about ways to connect with God.
When I lead sessions for adults I usually teach them to make the full set of Protestant prayer beads, made up for four sets of seven beads. However, when working with children I have them make chaplets, using two sets of seven beads. The smaller size fits their hands and their attention spans really well. With this group, the children not only got to make a set to keep but also one to give away for mission. It was a wonderful way for them to share the gift of prayer with someone who really needs it!
The other highlight of the day was the introduction of my new apprentice, who, it just so happens, is my seven-year-old (okay, eight in three weeks!) son, Matthew. Since the time of my calling Matthew has been an integral part of this journey. He’s helped me make sets of prayer beads (I joke about my prayer bead sweatshop), put kits together, and assisted me at craft shows and speaking engagements.
This summer at SOULfeast he and my husband will be joining me in leading a workshop on prayer beads for family devotions. By then, I wanted Matthew to have a part in talking about prayer beads (which he says he wants to do) and helping the kids make them. Since I was working with kids this past Sunday I thought it was the perfect opportunity to debut my new apprentice!
Not surprisingly, Matthew was great! He helped get the beads and tools ready and showed the kids how to make them. He even taught them how to loop the wire back through the crimp bead, a crucial step that challenges many an adult. While I stayed afterwards to clean up and collect my supplies Matthew played with the kids on the playground. Everyone was happy.
Afterwards, as we enjoyed an ice cream from Bruster’s, Matthew said he “had fun” and was looking forward to SOULfeast. So am I. Indeed, so am I.