Next week, our interactive, creative prayer space is back in schools.
PAUSE will be open to Years 7-11 at Emmbrook School, and Year 7 at the Holt School. That’s nearly 700 local young people taking part in this unique experience.
PAUSE gives young people under pressure a valuable chance to step off the treadmill for a moment, stop and reflect on what really matters. A Year 8 student once described it as “A lie-in for my mind during school time.”
Looking inside and outside
The classrooms we’re using will be totally transformed by our creative volunteers into different ‘zones’. Each zone presents an interactive opportunity to reflect on something that’s going on in their own life, or to think about the world around them – two aspects that we would associate with prayer.
This year, we’ve created a new zone about homelessness. Drawing round their own feet, the young people can have a go at putting themselves in the shoes of somebody who finds themselves homeless. They can learn about the different faces of homelessness and about the new Wokingham Night Shelter.
Other creative zones focus on hopes and dreams, releasing burdens, reflection, forgiveness, and big questions.
Space to process life
For some of the students, PAUSE might be a spiritual experience; for others it will be a much-needed space to release stress, relax or think more deeply about something.
It’s well-documented that taking the time to stop and process stuff that goes on in our lives helps improve our mental health and general state of wellbeing – whether you do that through mindfulness, journalling, prayer or meditation. For today’s pressurised young people, who live in an ‘always-on’ culture, PAUSE is an opportunity to actually do that – and perhaps be inspired to do it more often.
A few years ago, a teacher told us: “I cried the first time I walked into PAUSE. I tell the young people there’s no shame in crying.” As she left, she added, “There’s a real need for this reflective time.”