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Ribbons, Markers, and a Community Invitation
OUMC prayer station
February 25, 2021

he red cross painted on the outside of the Oriental United Church on Freemason is hard to miss. The small wooden cross sitting in front of it is a little less obvious. But a laminated white sign hanging from the wire – wrapped cross makes the intent clear: Community Prayer Station.

A laminated sign hangs from chicken wire wrapped around a wooden cross stating 'Community Prayer Station.'
An invitation from the Oriental United Methodist Church.

Several ribbons – purple, white, and green – adorn the wire. Words are visible on many ribbon ends. A few have writing restricted to their centers, hidden in the knots.

Usually the cross is situated inside the sanctuary during Lent – a forty day religious observance before Easter. This year Pastor Anne Sims, inspired by another church, wanted to try something new. “It’s typical during Lent to try and find some ways of trying to engage or connect with God that are different than what we usually do.”

Pieces of white and purple ribbon are tied to chicken wire on a cross. Part of a the writing on a purple ribbon reads 'return to God'.
A closer look at the prayers tied to the wire covered cross.

The community, regardless of faith, is invited to add to the cross or to just stop by for prayer or reflection. No need to bring your own supplies; a mesh bag containing waterproof ribbons and markers provides. There is no set time to add to the cross – the public may stop by whenever they are able.

A wooden cross covered in chicken wire and hung with signs sits outside a Methodist church. A large red cross decorates the wall behind the small, wooden one.
A mesh bag hanging from the cross holds ribbons and markers for the community to use.

The ribbon bedecked cross will stand until Easter Sunday on April 4, when the community will again be invited to come and lay flowers on or at the foot of the cross. Prayer ribbons and flowers will be removed and prayed over at the end of Easter.

The prayers are in a public space and there is no confidentiality. Ribbons can have first names or be anonymous. If anyone would like a prayer added to the cross, and cannot come themselves, they can call the office to have one added: 252-249-0213.

A red brick church flanked by two medium sized trees. The front of the church has a spire and a red painted cross separating the front windows. Stairs on either side of the windows and cross lead to entrances. The small wooden cross sits beneath the painted red one.
Oriental United Methodist Church at the corner of Freemason and 3rd Ave.
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Posted Thursday February 25, 2021 by Allison DeWeese

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