By Sue Magrath
May 14, 2016 | Portland, Oregon

I sit in the prayer room, steeped in the holy silence. I am a spiritual director, available to sit with anyone who comes seeking guidance, comfort, or prayer. The prayer room, in Oregon Ballroom 204, is a place set apart from the the hustle and bustle of General Conference, a place where one’s conversation with God and/or others is not guided by Robert’s Rules of Order.

Here, God is present, centering those who come, reminding them that there is a greater purpose to the work and debate going on in other rooms and other venues. Here, people realize that the work of General Conference is not the only thing that matters.

The prayer room is a great leveler where people are not bishops or delegates or committee chairs, but humans struggling with the most uniting of experiences–grief, loss, doubt, confusion, despair. The spiritual directors here have prayed with people whose families are in crisis, whose loved ones are dying, whose marriages are falling apart, whose calling is in question, who wonder, “How long, O Lord?” And we have no clearcut answers, only presence and a place to be real, to be accepted, to be comforted, to just BE.

This is a space for everyone. Here, you will find beauty, silence, peace, and a number of ways to commune with God. The prayer room offers two labyrinths, several prayer stations, art supplies for those who like to pray in color, a lovely altar, and spiritual directors who are ready to listen and pray. We also have a good supply of Kleenex on hand! Please come and visit us and be renewed for the difficult work of General Conference. May it be so.

Sue Magrath is a spiritual director and retreat leader living in the Seven Rivers district. She is currently chair of the PNW clergy wellness task force.

Photo Credit: Teri Tobey for the PNW Conference.


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