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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Stop, look and listen

South Carolina youth learn creative prayer

Praying with Russian Orthodox icons, learning music from the Taizé community in France, walking the labyrinth, mastering the discipline of contemplative prayer. This winter students attended a seminar at Lutheran Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C. But these students weren’t seminarians. They were fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from the South Carolina Synod.

The synod’s youth ministry leaders have organized the Club 456 event for several years. This year’s theme, “Open Hands, Spirit-Filled Hearts,” offered students the opportunity to learn different ways to pray. (See related story, "The forgotten side of prayer.")

“This is a good age to begin introducing the spiritual disciplines associated with prayer,” said Stephanie Stoudemayer, the synod’s youth ministry coordinator. “Kids this age are sponges and open to learning new things. Their relationship with God is just beginning, and they are looking for creative ways to express their faith.”


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