New Community United Methodist Church invites the community to the dedication ceremony of the labyrinth for community use. The event, led by Pastor Gayle Basten, will begin at 11:15 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 24, at the church located at 49223 Road 426, Oakhurst.
Following the ceremony, there will be a workshop for those interested in more information on the history, meaning and use of the labyrinth.
The workshop will be taught by Susan Madden, Veriditas trained Labyrinth facilitator and a labyrinth walk will also be held. The labyrinth, dedication ceremony, workshop and walk are all open to the public and donations will be accepted.
“The church labyrinth was funded by the Elizabeth McDaniel Memorial Fund. Her mother, Jewell, was drawn to labyrinths and wanted to ensure the placement at her church,” Basten explained. “In the summer of 2016, Elizabeth organized the creation and installation of the labyrinth shortly before her own passing.”
Consultation and historical significance was provided by Thea Sagen, while area artist Toby Raetze initiated, planned and painted the labyrinth, now open to the public during regular hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. - noon on Sunday.
For those who are new to the term, a labyrinth is a place for cultivating mindfulness, quiet reflection, prayer and healing. For most, it is a spiritual experience, however the benefits of the labyrinth are enjoyed by all.
It is an ancient symbol that has been used by many cultures and evidence of labyrinth use dates back 4,000 years to ancient cave drawings in Spain. While some may mistake a labyrinth for a maze, the two couldn’t be more opposite.
A maze is intended to get you lost with its many twists, turns, blind alleys and dead ends. It confuses you and leads to stress. A labyrinth is a reflective path to one’s center. There is only one path in to the center, and the same path is used to return. As long as you follow the path, you can’t get lost.
There are many labyrinths used around the world, in parks, hospitals, churches, schools and prisons as well as on private property.
Positive Living Center also has a labyrinth inside the sanctuary - a piece of art that has been carved and stained into the concrete floor, with the design lending itself perfectly to special ceremonies such as weddings, rites of passage and celebrations of life.
Madden has received extensive training in labyrinth facilitation, design and construction from Veriditas (veriditas.org) founder and leader of the modern labyrinth movement, Lauren Artress.
For more information on either labyrinth, or if you are interested in installing a labyrinth at your school, church, home or other location, contact Madden at (559) 683-4569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Community United Methodist Church