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Photo courtesy of Dianne Lawhorn

Candles are part of many of the Sacred Space stations at Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church during Holy Week.

Photo courtesy of Dianne Lawhorn

A simple poster welcomes guests to the Sacred Space during Holy Week at Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Enter Sacred Space during Holy Week

Christine Kumar
January-February 2017

It Worked for Us

Carrie and Robert (not their real names) wanted to explore more about prayer and God's love during Holy Week. To make that happen, they entered Sacred Space.

The couple and more than 75 other people experienced Sacred Space, hosted by Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church in its Family Life Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, during Holy Week 2016.

As worshippers entered the dimly lit facility, they heard soft, meditative music preparing them to experience God's presence and peace. Inside were various stations for prayer utilizing labyrinths, icons, mandalas and sacred readings.

The Rev. Dianne Lawhorn, pastor of spiritual formation at Mt. Tabor, said the church has hosted Sacred Space for the past 10 years. Over the years, it has expanded to include more stations like lectio divina (sacred reading) where the same scripture in many translations can be read repetitively to seek and understand what God is saying to those who will listen. A station for centering prayer invites people to rest in God's presence and move to commune with God.

Each station incorporates guidelines for entering into that space. For example, people can learn more about icons, what it means to be centered in prayer and the practice of examen in which they review their day in the presence of God. There is also a table of mandalas where children and adults can color circular drawings for relaxation and spiritual cleansing.

"It's so important to have a sacred space to enjoy the presence of God and to sink more deeply into that presence during the week we remember the passion of Christ," said Lawhorn. "I hope that people experience this space as an oasis in the midst of our busy and hectic pace to catch their breath as they enjoy the fruits of silence, solitude and stillness."

Christine Kumar is a freelance writer and administrator, Baltimore Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference. Send story ideas to interpreter@umcom.org.