GROVE FOR PRAYER AND MEDITATION
1. To highlight three outstanding ministries of the DFUMC: Music, Prayer, and Missions.
2. To represent yet another church vehicle for personal and corporate growth in our Christian Faith.
3. To serve as a gathering place for a diverse variety of church programs, services, and study groups.
4. To provide a unique form of invitation and discipleship outreach to the Dingmans Ferry community.
5. To become a valued site for quiet reflection and meditation.
6. To reflect essential components and emphases of our newly adopted Church Vision.
7. Above all, to allow God’s purpose(s) for the Grove to evolve and to direct its developing form and functions.
GROVE FOR PRAYER AND MEDITATION
One Overarching Interpretation Feature
CHURCH MANDALA: A geometrically-conceived model of circular and triangular shapes that provides an overall interpretation of the Christian Faith Foundations and Ministries of our DFUMC. The Mandala illustrates how the body of our church congregation reaches out through the embracing aura of the Holy Trinity (FATHER, SON, and SPIRIT) to serve God and humanity through three domains of Christian Discipleship (MUSIC, PRAYER, and MISSION). The Mandala is intentionally large to suggest the expansive nature of genuine Christian Discipleship.
Seven Primary Grove Features
1. I CORINTHIANS 13 GARDEN (giving emphasis to Outreach/Mission)
A shaded garden where floral and foliage plants are grown that reveal the primary colors of our Christian Faith (as evidenced by our church Worship Paraments (white, purple, red, and green). The Garden provides an opportunity for church parishioners to give a small sample of a plant like those grown in the Grove and an accompanying Scriptural passage to someone in need of Faith, Hope and Love.
2. ‘MUSIC-OF-THE-SPHERES’ CHAPEL (giving emphasis to Music)
A Chapel for seating some 20-24 individuals. Musical themes pervade, with possibilities for diverse forms of Christian musical expression. Featured in the Chapel are musical chimes, a musical banner, nature and creation themes from the music of our United Methodist tradition, and a simulated ‘cathedral’ window overlooking a natural, pastoral scene.
3. ‘SYMBOLS-OF-OUR-FAITH’ ALCOVE
Highlights three prime symbols of our Christian Faith: the CROSS, the STONE and the DOVE, and their historical significance to Christians. The symbolic forms of these Christian icons are set in a stone foundation of red crushed stone that is meant to resemble a Eucharistic wine chalice, since interpretations of the meanings of the CROSS, the STONE and the DOVE are inherently embedded in our weekly celebrated ritual of Holy Communion.
4. DAILY DISCIPLESHIP PRAYER CIRCLE (giving emphasis to Prayer)
A circle that embodies twelve Prayer Stones that embrace four domains of our Christian Faith: Prayer Devotion to God, Prayer Contriteness of Heart, Outreaching Aura of Prayer, and Faith in Prayer Outcome. Opportunity for many forms of personal and corporately experienced prayer. Seating for 12-16 individuals around the Circle.
5. PORTALS OF FAITH
Featured here are seven symbolic (stone) Portals of entry of someone into either our DFUMC congregational Fellowship of Faith (as symbolized by the Prayer Circle) or their personal Journey of Faith Pathway (as symbolized by the pathway the winds around the Prayer Circle). The interpretation of the Portals gives expression to the diverse ways that individuals can enter the Christian Faith during their lifetime.
6. CHRISTIAN ‘JOURNEY-OF-FAITH’ PATHWAY
A ‘pathway’ around the Prayer Circle that visually illustrates the potential evolution of one’s personal Christian Faith via a life ‘Journey’ that is founded on key Scriptural passages from the Gospels. Those who ‘experience’ the Journey become aware of God’s Presence with us, His Promise to us, and His Purpose for us. The Journey-of-Faith Pathway is closely associated with the Portals of Faith, since a predominant ‘mission’ of our church is to provide spiritual ‘portals’ of entry of its parishioners into their personal Faith Journey.
7. SAINT FRANCIS MEDITATION GARDEN
A perennial Garden of shrubs and herbs that is designed to attract butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds, whose presence symbolize God’s love for Nature and the Creatures of His Earth. Featured in this Garden will be a statue of Saint Francis, His Creation Prayer, and the familiar hymn from our United Methodist Hymnal, “All Creatures of Our God and King.” Ecumenical Meditations from around the world which focus on the themes of Beauty, Love, Peace, and Charity will also be featured in this Garden.