Our church first experimented with a prayer loom for Holy Week, specifically with our Maundy Thursday service. I had thought we might do more with it in the months that followed, but we didn't. Happily the prayer loom was just fine left all alone.
Last month, I moved it to the arts and crafts area of VBS. It looked like this, with the Holy Week prayer stands still there:
We had four groups of elementary school children come through the arts and crafts room last Thursday. With each, I explained the concepts of prayer and talking to God, and how the strands of yarn represented our prayers. The children were eager to choose their yarn and start weaving:
I talked about how we could write people's names on strips of cloth or tags of paper and weave them in. A few children did that.
One group wove one strand of yarn and went to painting with watercolors. One group spent the whole time weaving. One group had some of the children interested in the loom for the whole time while the others painted. At the end of the night, the loom was significantly fuller.
I have now moved the prayer loom and the basket of yarn to the back of the sanctuary, with a sign (which I borrowed from this site) that invites everyone to weave more prayers:
This morning, I will have time to go to the back of the sanctuary to see if more people have added to the loom.
I also wonder if this kind of experience could be utilized in non-spiritual aspects. Is there a place for this kind of loom in writing classrooms? Hmm. I plan to think about that piece more in months to come.
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