Back in 2010 we ran the “Luke 15” chapter retreat for the first time. And I (Beth) got a crazy idea. What if we could create a room full of art and Scripture and objects that would transport students into the story of the prodigal son? What if we could actually enter into the text, and interact with it visually and kinesthetically? What if we could make a space that helped usher students into a place of prayer, through posters and prompts that asked deep questions of their hearts? Maybe we could.
So, I headed to the craft store and the thrift store and began purchasing items for our little “prayer room”. What I knew is that some students needed a quiet space to run to during the course of a retreat weekend (a retreat from retreat, if you will). I also knew that many students needed to respond to the text in a tangible way, and not just hear it spoken or read the words on the page. What I discovered that first year is that the prayer room filled many deep, unspoken needs in our chapter – and it would be something that we’d do again and again.
What I didn’t know is that 2010 would begin a 4 year journey in my staff career where God would turn me back to things that I have always loved – music, art, and writing – and he would show me how my creativity could be used to create a space where the Gospel was proclaimed visually and artistically. He ignited a passion in me to develop my own talents so that His glory could be put on display. Since then I’ve worked with numerous students to design and create prayer rooms on Luke 15 (see slideshow below), Genesis 1-3, and the creation-fall-redemption-restoration story.
Chapter Retreat 2014 marks 4 years since our first prayer room and “oh how far we’ve come”! I have to say, I am so proud of CNU IV’s tradition of prayer rooms at retreat and on campus and the way it offers students a way to walk the dusty road of the prodigal son and lay their crowns at the foot of the cross – literally.
Please take a few minutes to view the slideshow below to “walk” through our prayer room and the story of Luke 15, and to see the students’ very real and heart-felt responses. (Or, read/view more about our 2014 retreat.)