Prayer Tree Grows at the Methodist Church
Anyone driving by the Weston United Methodist Church at 377 North Avenue may have recently noticed the addition of a small red steel-and-fabric tree in the front circle, where the Halloween pumpkins were scattered in times past. The Owl traded some communications with the Reverend Dr. Pat McHugh to find out the meaning of this happy tree.
“In addition to our Bible Box and the Prayer Request Box, the Prayer Tree is a way for us to invite folks to add their prayers,” said Reverend McHugh. “We want people to know that our church prays for the needs of the people, and there are many ways to share your prayer requests. The prayer tree was developed as a visible, and hopefully fun, way to bring the values of prayer and community together. ”
The tree sculpture is on loan to the church from the artist, Rebecca McGee Tuck of Natick. On the artist’s website, you can get more information on the Prayer Tree, which is actually a “Clootie Tree”. In ancient Celtic tradition, a “Clootie Well” was a holy place. Pilgrims would travel to these wells in hopes of using the healing power of the water to cure ails, leave offerings to their gods, and expecting their prayers to be answered. Nearby trees became spontaneous collective memorials where offerings were hung as a representation of their prayer or wish.
In the case of the UMC Prayer Tree, people are invited to take a piece of fabric from the box and write a message or a prayer then tie it to the branches of the Prayer Tree. These handwritten notes become a visually stunning collage of hopes and prayers. Wherever the tree stands, collective thoughts will have the power to send these prayers onwards!
For the prayer tree, anyone can stop, fill out a fabric prayer strip, and add it to the tree–instructions are now on a board in front of the church. In addition, in the Bible Box, there is paper and pencil to leave your prayer requests. The Church has a dedicated prayer phone line, 781-894-5858. All of these prayers are gathered up each week by the prayer coordinator, and a time is set for a group to lift up all of the prayer requests.
Weston United Methodist Church, 377 North Avenue. Mother’s Day Service is in person this Sunday at 10:30 am.