Thanks to Wayzata Community Church (UCC) and Rev. Lindy Purdy for creating this beautiful outdoor community invitation to prayer; and to Rev. Janet Holler for bringing it to our attention!

Wayzata Community Church created an outdoor pilgrimage for the Season of Lent. It is available to the general public from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturdays, indicating a commitment from the congregation to keep materials available and their vestibule accessible for those hours.

You can find resources for creating a similar Good Friday Prayer Pilgrimage – or Stations of the Cross – in The Ministry Lab’s recent offering of Holy Week resources. Monday and Tuesday are for preparing materials; Wednesday is for printing and laying out the Stations; Friday offers guidance for leading at home or as an outdoor gathering. You might make Friday’s instructions available throughout the day to invite the whole community to your own Stations of the Cross.

While Lent is the perfect time for this type of practice, it is adaptable to just about any time of the year. It might be a wonderful invitation to the community for outdoor spiritual exploration and growth throughout the summer; it would be a beautiful Advent practice (though requiring more maintenance with snow removal!); it is an excellent option for intergenerational preparation (putting it together) and usage; it’s also great for youth groups!

You might develop a different theme for different times of the year – themes both environmental (to follow earth seasons) and spiritual (to follow liturgical seasons) can intersect for powerful prayer stations.

You might also adapt the pilgrimage to address current issues: the Healing Our City (Minneapolis) Prayer Tent addresses racial injustice and invites community members to reflect, find renewal, and recommit to engaging works of equity and justice. You might find inspiration for your own tent or pilgrimage specific to anti-racism and ending white supremacy culture.

You might also create stations that invite pilgrims to pray for important laborers in your area, essential workers, important legislature, specific local environmental issues or spaces, etc. You might insert one locally specific element to each evolution of a year-round prayer pilgrimage…

The options are limitless and the local impact of a community-wide prayer space could be enormous!

Also: bring in visitors! At least one other congregation is bringing their whole youth group to WCC for their March youth gathering: an excellent outdoor event that is already set up!

Learn more about Wayzata’s Prayer Pilgrimage here.