As part of its visioning for the future, the Dingmans Ferry United Methodist Church is developing an outdoor Grove for Prayer and Meditation. The ‘Grove’, a cluster of pine trees immediately adjacent to the church building, will ultimately feature:
Meandering pathway through the trees;
St. Francis Meditation Garden;
Series of Biblical-focused planter barrels;
Specially designed Prayer Circle for engaging Grove visitors in a variety of individual and/or group prayer experiences.
Plans for the Grove for Prayer and Meditation seek to highlight three (3) dominant attributes that reflect the genuine character and spirit of the Dingmans Ferry United Methodist Church:
a) it’s joyous celebration of God’s Word through MUSIC,
b) it’s profoundly inspired focus on PRAYER, and
c) its fervent commitment to local and global MISSIONS.
THE Grove will be invitational in nature, and will provide opportunities for both the church congregation and the surrounding community to interact with its features. Activities in the Grove will, ideally, become an integral part of the church’s growing vision to reach out and embrace the un-churched portion of the Dingmans Ferry community.
As the Grove for Prayer and Meditation begins to materialize, many of its developed features will be potentially funded through ‘dedicated contributions,’ where individuals, couples, or families, in recognition or remembrance of a special family member or friend, will elect to partially or fully subsidize the cost of a select Grove feature. Examples of such select features are:
Prayer Circle prayer-stone; a Prayer Circle or Chapel seating bench;
Biblical plant barrel;
St. Francis Garden shrub or flower planting;
Musical-themed sign or banner in the Chapel.
In fact, some such donations have already been received. All financial contributions will be honored in a special Prayer and Meditation Grove ‘Book of Remembrance.’
There will, additionally, be opportunities for individuals or groups to volunteer their time and talents to the development of the Grove for Prayer and Meditation features. The church membership will be apprised whenever such opportunities arise.
Although an overall plan for the Grove for Prayer and Meditation has been conceived, the pace of its creation and development will need to evolve as funds and developmental support are made available. This should not, however, preclude Grove visitors benefitting from those features that are completed early in the developmental process. For example, the proposed ‘Daily Discipleship Prayer Circle’ and the ‘Biblical Planter Barrels’ are two of the initial developed features that are already in an advanced state of development.
One interesting dimension of the Grove and its ministry will be the manner in which it documents and highlights both its visitors and its Grove-based programs and events. A large binder will be created that will be named the ‘Journal-of-the-Grove,’ and placed in some visible locale in the church building. In it will be kept dated logs of visitors who have chosen to record their visitation to the Grove (much the same way that a park or hiking-trail visitor records her or his experience in a natural setting). Also included in the Journal binder will be transcripts, outlines, or graphic images of special events or programs that have been carried out in the Grove. Indeed, the Journal may become a treasured archive that preserves the record of a wide variety of valued ‘ministries’ that the Grove has succeeded in inspiring over time!
If you think that you would like to be part of some aspect of the Grove for Prayer and Meditation project, through your time, talents, or funding support, contact Jerry Schierloh who is serving as the Grove for Prayer and Meditation Coordinator.
At the least, we can surely use the prayer support of everyone in the church in seeing this project move from conception to completion.
Thanks, in advance, for whatever you see fit to contribute!