Coloring, praying workshop slated

Have you ever prayed in color?

Sybil MacBeth published Praying in Color in 2007 (Paraclete Press) just as the adult coloring phenomenon steamed up in the United States. Publishing houses declare they have rarely seen such an explosion in any genre. Adult colorists (as they may be called) claim increased mindfulness, stress-relief, and relaxation.

Lent may be an appropriate time to consider such therapeutic effects for spiritual well-being, as well. MacBeth explains her brainchild came after an hour of nervous prayer spurts for people in her family and friend circles who were facing life-threatening cancer situations. “All my usual prayer words vanished,” she said. She went to her back porch to distractedly doodle and color as she wondered how to pray. She wrote a name of her loved one and embellished it with circles and lines and various colors. “When the drawing was finished,” MacBeth writes, “I knew I had offered my friend into God’s care without words.” (Praying in Color: Kid’s Edition,page 10)

As a math professor, MacBeth stresses that this “drawing a new path to God” does not require artistic abilities at all. But rather, she suggests the more simply one approaches lines and curves and boxes and color, the more the “colorist” may sense God’s involvement in the praying. MacBeth, whose husband is an Episcopalian priest, teaches that praying in color may relax ecclesiastical exercises and expectations we have about prayer. She claims that while doodling or praying in color, the pray-er may more readily trust that the body is entering into communication with God as much as the mind, heart, and soul.

MacBeth wrote Praying in Color: Kids’ Edition in 2009. She has also recently published a Praying in Color Journal, Praying in Black and White: A Hands-On Practice for Men, Season of the Nativity and various templates which may be used for seasonal praying and for workshops. In addition, MacBeth offers weekend retreats for Praying in Color. See www.prayingincolor.com.

As a Lent activity a Praying in Color workshop will be offered, free of charge, in Arcanum on March 17 at 6:30 p.m.MacBeth’s two original books will be introduced followed by a Praying in Color practice session.

“Actual prayer requests are invited from the community for us to hold in confidence and over which coloring prayers will be offered.,” said a spokesperson.

To request more information, to register for this workshop, or to offer prayer requests, contact Beverly Hughes at [email protected] or 937-467-3401

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By Beverly Hughes

A Book Review