On Palm Sunday 2019, the kids and youth of Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, California, had been invited to dive deeply into the story of Jesus’ ardour by partaking Stations of the Seven Last Words. Each participant was led via the stations sporting headphones and guided by a recorded meditation. The audio included kids and youth studying related scripture passages, directions for interacting with gadgets discovered on the stations, and questions for additional reflection.
A Note: If something on this article is taken into account inventive or worthwhile, I credit score The Rev. Angela Compton-Nelson. At a Forma Conference in 2018, I participated in a workshop that The Rev. Compton-Nelson led primarily based on her creation of an experiential Stations of the Cross. It is the inspiration for all that I describe.
Coloring Posters from Illustrated Ministry
Initially, this started with youth coloring Seven Last Words posters from Illustrated Ministry as a meditative apply throughout Lent. Over a few weeks of coloring, I remembered The Rev. Compton-Nelson’s workshop. My colleague The Rev. Aaron Klinefelter and I made a decision to create experiential stations utilizing the Seven Last Words, together with a self-guided audio component like one would possibly discover at a museum.
Details & Logistics
Scripture, Script, Audio
For the scriptural focus for every station, we used phrases discovered on the posters or used textual content from their broader Bible passages. From there, we reviewed every chosen scripture and selected a corresponding bodily merchandise or motion that might join with the scripture and coloured picture. We used the voices of youngsters and youth in our recording, hoping it will assist these listening relate extra deeply with the expertise and provide a way of familiarity with this new factor they had been doing.
Here is a few textual content from Station Four:
“….we find Jesus being mocked. Jesus must have felt alone. …. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Try placing on the masks so that you could get a way of the darkness of this second for Jesus. Is there a time you felt on their lonesome? Is there a time that you simply felt like individuals had been mocking or making enjoyable of you? Have you ever felt like God had deserted you?”
Materials & Actions
Much of this expertise relied on how we invited the kids and youth to have interaction with photos, scripture, and gadgets or actions abruptly. Particular emphasis was positioned on the collection of gadgets. We chosen gadgets and actions that we believed would join clearly and on to a station’s picture or scripture. We additionally chosen gadgets and actions that we believed had been distinctive but not distracting. Often, we selected gadgets that youth may preserve and take dwelling with them after the expertise.
We ordered nearly every part on-line. We had been positive to buy extra gadgets than the variety of kids and youth we anticipated so that everybody may take them dwelling. We additionally had been capable of order a couple of units of cheap headphones and MP3 gamers. We staggered our members to restrict the variety of individuals within the area at one time. This allowed the few headphones and MP3 gamers for use by extra of our group members and helped to create a extra worshipful and meditative area.
Photos of the Stations of the Seven Last Words will be discovered here.
A Few Tips
These sorts of immersive and interactive experiences will doubtless work nicely with most kids and youth. Further, there are countless methods to adapt these kinds of experiences. Just a few of our takeways:
- When creating experiences, the extra related and in live performance every part piece is, the higher.
- Open-ended engagement that permits for questioning and wandering is greatest.
- Space that’s prayerfully curated encourages individuals to wish and interact with God.
We imagine that such immersive and interactive experiences throughout the partitions of our church buildings can probably influence our younger individuals in such a approach as to rework their understanding of religion, their relationship with God, and the methods they reside on this planet of their day by day lives. Or because the younger individuals heard within the audio recording within the Stations of the Seven Last Words, “You’ve reached the end of these stations, but your journey with Jesus continues beyond this place…”