Take a look at this ecumenical hippie exercise involving shoeboxes:
Directions/Material: Building up and tearing down the Wall
“Division due to our sin”: after a brief introduction some members of the congregation will construct a wall of separation representing the sins and division that we confess. The wall remains standing during the service until the section headed “Respond in faith – live in reconciliation.” At this point the stones will be removed from the wall and placed in the shape of a cross.
Depending on the size of the worship space, the following materials will be necessary for this symbolic action: 12 boxes of the same size (i.e. shoe boxes, transport boxes) covered in packing paper to make the “stones.” On the front side of each box a key term will be noted (lack of love, hate and contempt, false accusation, discrimination, persecution, broken communion, intolerance, religious wars, division, abuse of power, isolation, and pride). As each sin is named the stone is brought forward to build the wall. Following a moment of silence, the stone bearer makes the plea for forgiveness, to which the congregation responds “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
After the proclamation of God’s word which concludes with the sermon, a prayer for reconciliation follows. As the wall is dismantled and the stones are laid in the form of the cross, a song of reconciliation or a hymn of the glory of the cross is sung.
For worship services in small groups, an alternative liturgical action could be either to expand upon or to replace the wall with personal testimonies. These testimonies in the first part should name situations which have been hurtful to others. In the second part concerning the faith response, stories about reconciliation and acts of healing could be told.
Know where that comes from? You’re not going to believe it.
Or maybe you will.
It’s part of a ceremony suggested for Christian unity. It was composed by an ecumenical German committee. All the hot religious passions of the Reformation have cooled to the point where Catholics and Protestants make shoebox walls together. I’m grateful that Christian folks don’t hate on each other anymore, but honestly, who could participate in such a rite without giggling?