Genoa Intersections and Salem Lutheran Church of Sycamore will offer prayer bead workshops led by Deacon Carla Vanatta at two times and locations.
In Genoa, the workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 23 at the Northwestern Medicine Community Room, 599 Pearson Drive. In Sycamore, it will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at Salem Lutheran Church, 1145 DeKalb Ave.
Drawing from the book "A Bead and a Prayer," by Kristen Vincent of the Methodist tradition, participants will assemble prayer beads as the history and practice of praying with beads is introduced.
Protestant prayer beads include a cross and beads of various sizes: one invitation bead, one resurrection bead, four beads symbolizing the four gospels and four seasons of the year, and 28 beads divided into groups of seven, representing seven days of the week, seven days of creation and seven seasons of the church year.
Vincent also has written "Another Bead, Another Prayer" and "Beads of Healing" for working through various kinds of trauma. Samples of these books will be available at the workshops.
Participants also can sign up for an optional "Praying Our Way Through Lent" four-week Bible study offered at either location at varied times during the Lenten season, which begins Ash Wednesday, March 6. Each study session includes a scripture passage, weekly reading, prayer bead experience and reflection questions to share in a small group gathering.
The registration deadline is Feb. 10 to allow time to order books and assemble prayer bead kits. The cost of the "A Bead and a Prayer" book is $9; bead kits will range from $8 to $16 depending on the kinds of beads used. Websites list the size of the beads if people wish to bring their own.
Classes are limited to 20 participants at each site and they may choose either site according to what time works for them. If there is enough interest, another session will be added the next weekend.
Genoa Intersections is a developing faith community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, currently offering small group activities while learning about the needs and interests of people in the greater Genoa area.