Redeemer prayer wall

The prayer wall outside The Church of the Redeemer in Sayre. People can write and share their prayers on the whiteboard.

SAYRE — In these uncertain times during which many people are praying for their peers, they can now offer them on a prayer wall outside of The Church of the Redeemer on Wilbur Ave. in Sayre.

The idea was conceived three weeks ago, as a way to pray for people during the church’s street fair in June. Because the event was canceled, Pastor Melinda Artman decided to set it up early.

“We were going to have a prayer wall (at the fair), but once this virus came through — and the hospital was closed for visitors, and there wasn’t easy access to the chapel — we thought the prayer wall would be helpful,” Artman said.

Artman said she drew inspiration from other churches that created prayer walls of their own.

“Most of these are inside, and usually a dry-erase board,” she said. “Others have been like the free libraries you see, where it’s outside and people can pin notes in there. This is our version.”

The board is open for anyone to use, and is cleared on Wednesdays to make room for new prayers.

“It’s been up for slightly less than two weeks, and the board has been full twice,” Artman said.

People from all around the community have been leaving prayers. Somebody Artman knows from another church reached out and said she noticed a prayer for her daughter, who was expecting a baby.

“A picture of the prayer wall was clicked and sent to her daughter, and she was very touched that it happened,” she said. “We know there’s a community impact. It’s exciting to know someone clicked a picture and sent it along to let them know this church was praying for them.”

Even though the prayer wall was prompted by the uncertain times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Artman said she hopes it can become a permanent institution.

“Our plan is to (keep it up) as long as it doesn’t bother anybody, and as long as it doesn’t get vandalized,” she said, “We’ll leave it up year-round.”

Churches in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan are currently permitted to hold services if there are less than 25 people present. Artman says the Church of the Redeemer will follow guidance to wait until the green phase. When that does happen, she emphasized the importance of following safety precautions.

“Knowing that churches are perhaps one of the worst places to be, in terms of catching the virus, that makes us very careful,” she said.

While summer events are canceled, Artman added that she hopes the church can begin holding events again in the fall.

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