Spiritual Care & Development
First Monday is a gathering of folks aged 50+ who meet for fellowship and fun on the first Monday of each month, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. We meet in the Great Room at PUMC for a potluck lunch followed by the program. Bring a friend and a dish to pass. If you have questions about First Monday, please contact Pastor Kate, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Tuesday afternoon, someone from People’s Church goes over to Beehive Homes memory care facility down the street to share a time of singing, prayer and devotion with the residents there. I’ve learned that one of the most troubling aspects of memory loss is the loss of language. I’m constantly aware of this as I plan what to share with the residents at Beehive. I try to remember that although language may fail, we still have our bodies. And this is a gift from God. So this past week, I decided to share the “Body Prayer,” which goes like this:
Placing both hands on top of the head, pray out loud:
God be in my head and in my understanding.
Placing both hands over the eyes, pray out loud:
God be in my eyes and in my seeing.
Placing both hands over the ears, pray out loud:
God be in my ears and in my hearing.
Placing both hands over the mouth, pray out loud:
God be in my mouth and in my speaking.
Placing both hands over the heart, pray out loud:
God be in my heart and in my feeling.
Placing both hands on top of the thighs, pray out loud:
God be in my legs and in my moving.
Placing open hands one on top of the other, pray out loud:
God be in my hands an in my touching.
Placing both arms open at the side of the body, offering our life to God, pray out loud:
God be in my life and in my journeying. Amen.
The residents who gathered with me appeared very moved by this prayer, as each person was able to participate according to his or her ability.
We’ve been talking a lot about prayer at People’s Church lately. We started our new “Breakthrough Prayer Initiative,” praying at 8:35 a.m. and 8:35 p.m. We’re going through a prayer sermon series. Down in Sunday school, the kiddos are learning about different kinds of prayer, engaging with prayer in new ways (including this body prayer, too!).
We’re all learning together that prayer comes in many forms. This too is grace, a gift from God. There are times, even for me as a pastor, when I don’t have the words to pray. I feel a longing in my heart, but I can’t quite grasp it. As I prayed with the residents at the Beehive today, I was reminded that no matter what the circumstance, I can pray with my body even when my words won’t come. As Paul says, “in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) May you be blessed this day by the One who draws near to you, as near as your next breath.