Guilty pleasure... I really have a lot of fun designing these Pop Up Prayer flyers. Here's another one :)
Last Thursday's Pop Up Prayer event was lovely. It was on the smaller, more intimate side of gatherings, and the dusk views of Stringers Ridge and Signal Mountain provided a perfect backdrop for prayers and fellowship.
The next Pop Up Prayer gathering will be in Hill City at the Stringers Ridge / Spears Ave. Trailhead on Thursday, September 1 from 7-8pm
The rain last night understandably kept a lot of people home last night, but we pressed on and arrived at Warner Park a little before 7 and it was pouring down rain. The site we selected had several picnic benches under a huge magnolia tree, so there was a little cover from the rain.
A smaller than normal group of people arrived right at 7 to have the devotional, rain or shine. I was really pleased with the turnout, and saw the irony of umbrellas popping-up at the Pop Up Prayer gathering.
After people had offered a few prayers, the discussion migrated to sharing about specific examples where prayer and worship have helped us through difficulties and tests in our lives. The discussion was full of heart and soul for sure, but also included the sharing of experience, strength and hope. I just can't get enough of that!
Near the end of our gathering, the rain ended, the clouds began to clear, and God provided a beautiful rainbow to the west. I couldn't be more pleased with our rainy Pop Up Prayer gathering.
Please join us tonight, August 18, at 7pm in Warner Park for an interfaith Pop Up Prayer gathering. All faiths and spiritual backgrounds are welcome. Come to offer a few prayers, engage in elevated spiritual conversations and help build a little community unity. Details and a map are in the slideshow below.
"Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be known as the Children of God. But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say "PEACE."
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Oh God, lead us from darkness to light. Oh God, lead us from death to immortality. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all. Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing. May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself, bestow peace on all, and
may that peace come to me also.
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses - the children, the aged, the unprotected - be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddha hood.
Peace and Universal Love is the essence of the Gospel preached by all the Enlightened Ones. The Lord has preached that equanimity is the Dharma. Forgive do I creatures all, and let all creatures Forgive me. Unto all have I amity, and unto none enmity. Know that violence is the root cause of all miseries in the world. Violence, in fact, is the knot of bondage. "Do not injure any living being." This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable way of spiritual life. A weapon howsoever powerful it may be, can always be superseded by a superior one; but no weapon can, however, be superior to non-violence and love.
"God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear: that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living. "Know that we attain God when we love, and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated."
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
"Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us, I believe, are all our brothers and sisters, why are there constant troubles in this world? Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us? I only earnestly wish that the wind will soon puff away all the clouds which are hanging over the tops of the mountains."
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you. To your messengers the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.
We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world: that understanding triumph over ignorance, that generosity triumph over indifference, that trust triumph over contempt, and that truth triumph over falsehood.
Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
Muslim, Jewish & Christian
"O God, you are the source of life and peace. Praised be your name forever. We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace. Hear our prayer in this time of war. Muslims, Christians, and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm, that they are followers of the one God, children of Abraham, brothers and sisters. Enemies begin to speak to one another; those who were estranged join hands in friendship; nations seek the way of peace together. Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these
truths by the way we live. Give to us: Understanding that puts an end to strife; mercy that quenches hatred; and forgiveness that overcomes vengeance. Empower all people to live in your law of love. Amen
We had another great Pop Up Prayer event last Thursday at Coolidge Park. Several new faces showed up, and some familiar faces returned. A focus of the gathering ended up being prayers and conversation about healing needed by loved ones. It was another worthwhile Pop Up Prayer event for sure. The sitting area next to the Walker pavilion is a great venue for this sort of thing. We'll be sure to Pop Up there again sometime soon.
by Chloé Morrison
Local residents David McCully and his wife, Laura, have started hosting interfaith prayer gatherings in an effort to bring together like-minded people.
"It's interfaith, and it really comes without any strings attached," he said. "I think that's important for people to understand. We are not trying to recruit for any organization. We are just trying to bring some people with common interests together."
The couple recently moved from Dallas, where they hosted home interfaith devotionals. Their wedding was also a "pop-up wedding," in which they arrived in a public space dressed in their "wedding regalia" and exchanged vows.
"And the idea just came together," he said. "We thought, 'Why don't we marry the pop-up [idea] with the interfaith devotional?'"
The idea manifested into the Pop Up Prayer Group.
The goal of the gatherings is to promote a sense of community unity, and participants gather to worship God and celebrate similarities.
The meetings have ranged from small groups of a couple to larger groups of 12 to 15 people. They start off with participants sharing prayers and generally transition into discussions about ways to help the community, he said.
"This whole movement began in July 2016 in response to conversations with friends in the community about the need to do something ... in the face of disturbing issues facing our nation and the world we live in," McCully also said. "What started as a gathering of one or two has started to grow into something very powerful and spiritually nurturing."
The first meetings were weekly at Renaissance Park in North Chattanooga, and the goal is for the pop-up events to move to public venues across the community. The next one is planned for Aug. 4 in Miller Park at 7 p.m.
"I hope it takes off with or without me," McCully also said.
Pop Up Prayer Group is an unregistered entity, and its trademarks are freely available to anyone who wants to use them, according to a news release.
The loose-knit organization maintains a Facebook page for distributing Pop Up Prayer Group event information. Click here for more.