Why Prayer Beads?
The prayer beads we make and share (a simple 8-bead design) are intended to prompt people to take time to express gratitude and engage in prayer. The beads serve as visual and tactile triggers for gratitude, meditation and prayer.
The beads may…
- Remind you to thank God for the many blessing in your life, even in moments of despair,
- Prompt you to take time to interact daily with the Lord in prayer,
- Be given as a gift to someone as a reminder of God’s love,
- Be used as a reminder of the blessing of gratitude,
- Be a reminder of loved ones, blessings, worries or places you’ve lived or explored on vacation,
- Bring a smile to your face if they remind you of the person who gave them to you as a gift,
- “Cause you to pause” in the midst of your busy life, simply because of a beautiful color, pattern or design,
- Bring you calm as you touch the beads in your pocket in the midst of a difficult meeting or conversation,
- Open up a conversation with someone you don’t really know.
How many prayer bead strands is OLLC making?
As many as we need to provide prayer beads for our members and for visitors. We made and distributed over 100 prayer bead strands during 2015. We will likely distribute 50-100 bead strands in 2016.
Each of our bead strands has an attached brass charm with “ollc.org” stamped into the metal. This provides a reminder for us to pray for our congregation. For visitors it lets them know they are valued by the OLLC congregation and we welcome their future visits. Each bead strand also includes a bead or charm that is a Christian symbol, such as a cross, butterfly (for resurrection), sea shell (for baptism), or fish/dolphin.
Who makes the bead strands?
Everyone is welcome to participate in assembling bead strands. It might take you 30-45 minutes to make your first strand, but after that it usually gets much faster. However, some people like to pray on the beads as they assemble the strands, so there is no need to hurry the process.
If you are interested in learning the techniques Kari Boyce has developed, let her know via email at kari@WeeklyBeads.info. She will provide one-on-one or group training as needed to OLLC members and visitors to empower our “bead team”! She currently provides FREE bead workshops for other churches, support groups, youth groups or individuals who are interested in making gratitude and prayer bead strands. Women, men and children of all ages participated this past year. All are welcome to participate in future classes.
Additional instructions, example prayer petitions, images of many prayer bead strands and upcoming bead events can be found at Kari’s website, WeeklyBeads.info.
Once you have made a couple bead strands, you are welcome to ask for some bead “kits” to assemble on your own. Each “kit” has all the materials you need to make one bead strand. To maintain our supply of prayer beads for OLLC visitors, we need to add some completed strands http://weeklybeads.info to the “bead basket” in Pastor Amanda’s office every month or two.
Does OLLC need bead donations?
We always welcome donations of beads and other related supplies needed to complete the bead strands.
Beads can be plastic, resin, glass, ceramic, wood, stone or semi-precious stone. Large beads (1/4″ or larger in diameter) are preferred and the beads should slide on their string, so we can transfer them to new cording. Most Mardi Gras beads do not work, as they are fused to the string. Please be very careful about donating any special family beads. If you have any hesitation, KEEP your beads. Once you learn to assemble the bead strands, you may decide to make some prayer bead strands for your own family members. That is a great way to use nice beads that have been in the family for a generation or more.
You are welcome to donate whole or broken necklaces you find in your closets, at the thrift store, garage sale or estate sale. We also use loose beads from prior craft projects. However, please make sure the bead holes are large enough to slide onto a standard safety pin. If not, the beads will not fit onto the cord we use for this prayer bead project.
We are always in need of key-rings (aka split rings) of all sizes, down to 1/2″. Metal charms in the form of crosses, butterflies, animals, shells and other religious symbols are welcome. Any metal color or finish is fine. Charms can get expensive very fast, so talk to Kari before buying charms costing more than 10-25 cents/item.
We also need a standard safety pin for every bead kit as well (to clear bead holes and store spacer beads). If you have extras from dry cleaning hangers or other sources, we would love to repurpose those safety pins! If you find a great deal (~25 cents/item) on metal lobster claw clasps that are 1/2″ or longer, those are also very popular alternatives to the key-rings for the “top” end of our bead strands.
Where do I take items to donate?
There is an orange “bead donation box” on a shelf behind the information counter facing the main entrance to OLLC. If you don’t see it, just ask. It is made out of a Nike shoe box.
So what is next?