Books
Ellen Morris Prewitt

Making Crosses

A new, creative, and active way to pray…

Ellen Prewitt invites you to discover how this new spiritual practice—making crosses—can deepen a life lived for Christ. As she says, “To make a cross is to pray in a new way, but it's not as simple as old-fashioned petitionary prayer; making crosses is a way for God to pray through you.”

The practice of making a cross takes you beyond analytic thinking, and offers a way of prayer where understanding comes from doing. Working with the most complex symbol of Christianity—the cross—the pray-er learns to co-create with God in concrete and tangible ways, and discover the meaning of faith.

Ellen Morris Prewitt is an award-winning writer who turned to making crosses after the tragedy of 9/11. Her writings have appeared in journals such as Image, River Teeth, and The Rambler. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee where, in addition to making crosses, she facilitates a writing group of men and women who live on the streets.

Cross Making in the Life of the Church

“Cross making offers individual exploration of spirituality wrapped in community.”

Worship:

Cross making during a worship service based on the movement of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Work of the Church:

– Discernment Committee: To bond the committee and help in the discernment process for candidacy for the priesthood
– “Festival of the Cross” featuring all types of hand-made crosses, including found object Creation Crosses

Outreach:
– Children's crosses displayed and sold, with money sent to congregation's mission work
– Neighborhood clean-up project with found objects used to make crosses
– Inter-congregation crosses made by two downtown churches
– Cross making session at local homeless shelter

Themed Explorations:
– Holy Week crosses created in group weekend before Holy Week and used in prayer/added to throughout the upcoming week
– Pentecost “Spirit Cross” created during Fellowship Hour in summer months with heavy participation by all members of the church
– Earth Day crosses in children's Sunday School class
– “Coming to the Cross as a Child” during women's retreat
– Lenten Crosses created at weekly gatherings of small groups

Bonding:
– During Sunday School where children and supervising parents make crosses together
– Display of crosses created by congregants encourages discussion of faith and spirituality and further introduces congregants to each other
– Group cross created during women's retreat, then placed in chapel to commemorate time with God and each other
– Silent retreat cross making
126 printed pages
Original publication
2009

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