8th September 2021
St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Australia hold four-week-long prayer spaces each year for primary and secondary school students. The most recent was themed around the Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5.1-12. The Beatitudes are powerful messages of being blessed. These messages guide us to recognise we are blessed, even in hard times and challenge us to think about how can we bless others. St Margaret’s Chaplain Susan Crothers-Robertson explained that students were invited to explore the Beatitudes through eight stations which were wisdom, resilience, peace, justice, joy, humility, hope and forgiveness.
At the hope themed station, students were invited to create flowers as they reflected on what hope meant to them. In the quiet and stillness, you could hear only the gentle rustle of tissue paper as the students worked on their creations which were then attached to netting creating a sea of flowers representing a sea of hope. One staff member commented that the mindfulness shown by the students during this activity was transformative.
“Prayer spaces nurture my faith and spirituality, as I have many opportunities to connect with God.”Year 7 Pupil
“Taking the time to slow down, sit quietly to think, reflect, pray and to be present is a key part of the Prayer Space experience and this aspect is what students appreciate the most. The quiet time in the prayer space is a precious gift within the busyness of school life. They look forward to the opportunity to explore, create, reflect and just be. It was so lovely to hear the ‘wow’ comments as the students entered the space” – Revd Susan.
At the joy themed station, students shared prayers of gratitude and joy on flag bunting. One student shared all the things that brought her joy. Another student wrote, “just being alive and knowing I am so loved.”
The beatitudes prayer spaces provided a unique opportunity for students to express and explore their thoughts and feelings and to consider kindness in a way that was visual, hands-on, practical and relevant. It also highlighted to students that there are different ways to talk or pray with God.
Read the full story here.