Prayer at the Fair

Photo courtsey of Flickr user m01229 under a Creative Commons license

Prayer at the Fair - a great way to start your Sundays at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!

Sometimes the State Fair can feel disorienting. Have you had that experience? You enter the fairgrounds frazzled before you even begin your visit, your attention being pulled every which way, jostled by the masses, overwhelmed by the cacophony, unable to find what you’re searching for - until you finally leave, your memory a confusing blur. Would you like a better experience?

Top 10 reasons to start your Sunday with Prayer at the Fair!

10) Convenience Arriving earlier in the morning makes your transit time less hectic. If you drive, parking is easier. If you bus, crowds are smaller. If you bike, the traffic surrounding you is sparser. All lines are shorter. It’s easy to find an open seat at the Leinie Bandshell.

9) Beauty During the earlier hours of the day, the fairgrounds are generally fresher, cleaner, and cooler than later in the day. (For that matter, fair workers and fair-goers are also generally fresher, cleaner and cooler than they are later in the day!)

8) Focus A morning worship service can help you acclimate to the fairgrounds, leaving behind whatever it took to get you there – and opening your heart to whatever you might discover during your visit. We gather at the big green Leinenkugel Bandshell Stage just inside the Snelling Avenue entrance gates near the Space Tower – a perfect threshold location.

7) Perspective The service lifts up our relationship to all creation, reminding us that the fair tradition comes from centuries of human families celebrating the harvest season. Carry that awareness with you as you wander through this 21st century harvest fair, ever mindful of your connection to countless generations of fair-goers from across time - and around the world.

6) Gratefulness We sing songs of thanks and praise, developing our gratitude muscle. This helps us see our environment - and our encounters during the coming day - through a lens of thankfulness, paying closer attention to the blessings surrounding us.

5) Mindfulness Sitting in a 30-minute worship service can set a tone for the rest of your adventure. Even after our service, you may find yourself more present to your day, noticing the divine nature tucked inside everyday ordinary people, places and things.

4) Compassion We read texts honoring non-human animals. You might see your fellow four-legged and winged animals with new eyes. (Including your fellow human animals as well!)

3) Inspiration Scripture readings remind us of our core values, including our dedication to justice. As you walk from booth to booth and from exhibit to exhibit, you might notice your mind exercising keener discernment as you consider purchases and possible impact on the planet.

2) Connection Worship with others can rekindle your sense of love toward the fellow pilgrims exploring the fairgrounds alongside you. Crowds seem less like annoying strangers, and more like traveling comrades – making your entire visit that much more emotionally satisfying.

…and the #1 reason for attending Prayer at the Fair: Spiritual practice Grounding your spirit before any endeavor can increase and deepen your engagement. If you start your day with Prayer at the Fair, you may very well find yourself more calm, serene, and attentive throughout your entire fair visit. Upon leaving the fairgrounds, you'll be able to reflect back on a rewarding, nourishing adventure. You might even sleep more soundly that Sunday night.

All in all, a remarkable list of benefits from just one little 30-minute morning worship!

Prayer at the Fair only happens during the State Fair season–

both Sunday mornings on August 28th & September 4th from 9:15–9:45 a.m. Special guests The Twin Cities Shape Note Singers and Lynette & Elwyn will offer additional music. (AND you can take home your very own bulletin-on-a-stick!) Please join us, won’t you?