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PRAYER TRAIL: CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD INSPIRED BY NATURE AND ART


St. Lorenz [https://stlorenz.org/] is a Lutheran church located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. This historic Gothic church is filled with beautiful examples of visual faith – brilliant stained glass windows, wood carvings, and other creative expressions that visually honor God and convey the truths of His Word. Recently, a prayer trail was completed with the involvement of some of our Visual Faith™ Ministry Artists. We hope that sharing the story of this project – and their goal to let each person know that God loves them - might inspire others. Here is their story:


Many years ago, a hiking trail was blazed in the church’s wooded campground area known as “Churchgrove Park.” During the 90's, several Eagle Scouts and church volunteers marked a path with entrance gates and wooden posts. Then in 2005, a camper remarked to caretaker Ron Heinlein, “Thanks so much for the beautiful prayer trail!” He shared that remark with the vicar (now Rev. Michael Goers), who wrote the three original prayers - to Father, Son, and Spirit – which are part of the trail signs today.


About 2 year ago, the prayer committee brainstormed on how to make "a place for all" to meet God in thought and prayer. The committee loved the idea of making the trail a destination and gift to the whole community and the many visitors who come to visit Frankenmuth throughout the year. (Frankenmuth is a nationally known destination as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria, with 3 million visitors a year – and faith is definitely a part of what this community is committed to share! https://www.frankenmuth.org/).


Original posts were counted and current pastor, Rev. Shawn Fenske created an acrostic - "The Lord is Here" – and words were added for each letter to focus on an area of prayer that all could use to meditate and pray. Their focus was for all to “meet God wherever you are at in your life.” Committee member Laura Weiss called in help from many friends, including Patty Glass, a mixed media faith artist and Pat Maier, a Visual Faith™ Ministry artist.


This project was a collaborative effort as God brought people forward to help: Rev. Bob Smith suggested Scripture verses for each word, friends helped Laura connect to Visual Faith™ artists and other artists who contributed, and an 8th grade girls’ Bible class brainstormed to come up with the word “Integrity!” Paul LaBrenz, member and owner of SignPal, made it possible to put the art onto weather-friendly, hard plastic signs. A church group called "Willing Workers" put up the signs, built benches, and painted. It was a collective work of love!




Here are just a few of the signs along the prayer trail .....



..... artists were given scripture verses to meditate and reflect on to inspire a visual response to God's Word - to provide a visual memory for each trail-walker of time spent in conversation with the Lord. Original calligraphy was added by lettering