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Jesus in Gethsemane, Annie VallottonThis Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Sunday School lesson and resource forum is part of Rotation.org's Palm Sunday to Good Friday, to Easter Morning forum of resources.

Question: What plants could you plant in a real garden to commemorate the story of The Garden of Gethsemane? Also...what do you think about creating a Gethsemane "Rock and a Hard Place Spot" at the church?  Rocks. path. Olive something. Praying space. Thinking out loud here!

~Neil the Asker

garden1This discussion came about when the Writing Team asked for ideas for "Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane."  You can find that set here https://www.rotation.org/forum/Jesus-in-Gethsemane, which includes a "Stepping Stones" Art Workshop. Anyone can view the set's bible background and summary, a Supporting Membership is required to view the lessons. It's only $45 a year and there are currently 38 lesson sets you'll then have access to! Learn how to get a Supporting Membership here.

Post your garden ideas, photos below.

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Last edited by Luanne Payne
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I love the idea of a special dedicated, preferably outdoor, space in church.

We tried this a couple of times...

Prayer Garden

we have a "Prayer garden" that is really a concrete alleyway area outside our basement Fellowship Hall... you can see it from the windows when inside, and it was pretty ugly... We added a fountain, concrete benches - the kids used tiles and stained glass to make mosaic symbols on the top, added potted plants and some garden stepping stones. The concrete benches and stones could represent your "hard" spots, and the way they were transformed shows the beauty and good of what Jesus is doing/did for us.

Bible Garden

We also made an actual Bible garden once (until the trustees decided to plant big bushes right in the middle)! We chose plants that had either biblical names -- Jacob's ladder, Lamb's ear or represented something from a story --  lemon balm, lilies, crown of thorns...

Mosaic Flower Pots

We have also made mosaic pots using symbols from the story, filled them with flower and auctioned them off for a mission offering.

Stone Labyrinth

A stone labyrinth would be amazing! Having it outside would limit some of the interactive prayer tools you could include, but it would be neat to have a dedicated space for that.

Prayer Stones

Or maybe just have a basket of stones that could be used as prayer stones... could add words that remind us of Jesus' suffering in the garden? Or draw pictures of the story onto the stones.

The big takeaway idea... Jesus did something very HARD out of LOVE for US.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Super ideas Jaymie. 

I especially like the "scalability" of what you did for those with more or fewer resources and time:
From pots -to- window well -to- garden.  Plants, stepping stones, etc.
I love mosaic projects. 

Do you have any photos?

Prayer Garden Photos

OK found a few photos... and ran by church to take some pics of the alleyway (window well) garden area since I couldn't find those.

IMG_0552

This is the garden -- the windows are to our Fellowship Hall. You can see the benches along the wall.


Mosaic Garden Benches

They are concrete benches - the kids used tiles and stained glass to make mosaic symbols on the top.

Below are photos looking down onto the top of the benches.

IMG_0553

Bench #1 (above) - of the sun was done by our middle grades.

IMG_0554Bench #2 (above) - the younger kids did this Pray Bench. Not sure if you can tell, but to the right of the "Y" they used leaf shaped tiles to depict the garden.

IMG_0557

Bench #3 (above) - pretty good representation of a garden. The older kids designed this one. These benches have been outside for 10+ years, so they have held up remarkably well.


Birdbath

This was actually designed to be a birdbath... but has since been turned into a flower pot saucer.

IMG_0556

Birdbath view from "side" (above) -  It's made from a large clay saucer glued to an upside down pot. Writing says, "My peace I give to you."


IMG_0555

Birdbath view from "top" (above) - the inside of the large clay saucer is where the kids created a mosaic of the Cross.


Stepping Stones

These were made by last year's confirmation class -- they never grouted them.

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Cross Stepping Stone (above)

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Butterfly Stepping Stone (above). The stepping stone (communion) on the right (above) -- was made by a real artist in the church as a gift.


Mosaic Flower Pots

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Set up for the mosaic pots (pictured above).

Supplies: large clay pots with saucers. containers of round glass pebbles (flat on one-side), pencils, paper patterns for tracing shapes onto outside of pots, white glue, glue holders (plastic cups), glue brushes.

TIP: We've discovered that the little round glass pebbles are MUCH easier for kids to work with... and they do fine with the grouting. We encouraged them to choose simple shapes and talked about key symbols...

IMG_1156IMG_1164Heart Pot

Completed pots... allow to dry 24 hours then grout.

P1060501

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  • Garden
  • Sun Bench
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  • Birdbath 1
  • Birdbath 2
  • Bench 3
  • Cross Stepping Stone
  • Butterfly stone
  • Mosaic pot symbols
  • Kids at work
  • Butterfly pot
  • Heart Pot
  • Completed pots
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Draw story scenes on thin paper and momceclip1d podge to prayer stones

We have done prayer stones as well. If you don't want to go to the expense of paint pens (much easier for kids than actual paint and brushes on such small surfaces), you can have them draw with permanent marker on very thin paper, then use mod podge or diluted glue to cover the stones. We did that for a series on the Life of David. We used paint pens this month making prayer stones for Daniel. We provided a simple tutorial of a lion using one of my favorite kids' art blogs: https://artprojectsforkids.org. Kids had an option of drawing their own, using the tutorial or choosing something different to put on their stone.

Jaymie

Life of David Story stones-1


Moderator adds: Another idea you should check out is Carol's -- Prayer Rock done with permanent markersLord's Prayer -- Prayer Rock Art Lesson https://www.rotation.org/topic/295011598215940834, it also includes member adaptations, at the end of the lesson, which use permanent markers to draw on the prayer rocks.

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

dishgardenAnother garden activity that can be used as a personal at-home prayer garden prompt is the dish garden. Instructions are found in the Writing Team's Mary Magdalene: Meeting Jesus at the Empty Tomb ~ Art Workshop. Discussion, readings, and conversation could be adapted to fit the Jesus praying in Gethsemane passage. (Anyone can view the Writing Team set's Bible background and lesson summaries; a Supporting Membership is required to view the lessons. It's only $45 a year and there are currently 38 lesson sets you'll then have access to! Learn how to get a Supporting Membership here.)

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