Capturing the hearts and minds of Iona Presentation College students has been the objective of two Year 7 Religious Education classes this term.
The inaugural ‘Prayer Bear Project’ was implemented as a contemporary way to teach students to consider different types of prayer; correctly structure and compose a prayer; and reflect on the importance our prayers have on the lives of other people in our community.
After creating some beautiful prayers, the students attached them to a teddy bear, which was decorated using recycled materials.
Head of Religious Education, Gemma Thomson said that students have taken inspiration from Corpus Christi College, who have successfully completed this activity for a number of years now.
“Our Year 7 Religious Education students in Mrs Lucy Sabatini’s classes embraced the opportunity wholeheartedly.
“This year, we have made 50 Prayer Bears that will be given to the St Vincent de Paul Society, for the Christmas Hampers of the Migrant and Refugee communities in Perth,” Miss Thomson said.
Year 7 student, Minerva Chaney said that the Prayer Bear Project was a great opportunity for students to reach out to the broader community and support those in need through the form of prayer.
“This project just goes to show that a minor peaceful gesture can have a sizable impact. Through our prayers we can warm the hearts of the less fortunate in our society and help to offer them a sense of worth and belonging,” she said.
While Year 7 student Lara O’Dea said it is great to know that many people would receive a cute bear and a prayer full of love and compassion, another student, Ruby Bayliss said that the Prayer Bear Project made them realise what they take for granted in their everyday lives and what is really important.
“It allowed us to see some of the real-life problems people are facing today, and made us feel extremely lucky for everything; our mum cooking dinner, our nice warm, snug beds and our homes,” Ruby added.
Some prayers from students involved in the Prayer Bear Project are included below.
Dear Holy Father,
May everyone this Christmas feel safe, happy and loved. Grant them joy in their hearts and a bright and hopeful future for the New Year. Please give strength and optimism to all in your care and help them to navigate their way out of the situations they are in. Thank-you for helping and nurturing the person who receives this bear.
Please protect and help this person who receives this bear. Whether they are happy, sad or just need some company. I ask you to look after them and guide them in every way, shape or form. Thank you for showing your everlasting love to them.
Please protect everyone, please love everyone, please guide everyone. Please be their guiding light, the torch in the dark, hope in their fear. No matter how afraid the people are, how happy they are, please always be with them. Please guide us away from evil and from temptation. Thank you, Lord, for always being there, for always helping, for always providing hope. Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe.