The United Church of Huntsville United Church of Christ and its neighbor St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are nearing the completion of a handicapped accessible labyrinth they want to share with their community. Walking a labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice that dates back thousands of years pre-dating Judaism and Christianity. Recently labyrinths have experienced a resurgence as tools for spiritual and physical healing. Many wounded warrior projects employ the use of labyrinths, and several labyrinths have been built in conjunction with military hospitals to aid in the physical and spiritual therapy of returning soldiers.
The Rev. Susan Sloan, Rector of St. Stephen’s and Rev. Robert Hurst, Pastor of United Church are proud of the ability of their two congregations to work together on a cooperative ecumenical project intended to reach out to their community. The two congregations formed a 501(c)3 corporation named “Healing Steps,” to build and maintain the joint labyrinth. Healing Steps contracted with “Labyrinths in Stone” of Yorkville, Illinois to install a 7 circuit Chartres style labyrinth using thousands of pavers. The beautiful design should last many years.
United Church is considering creating a shaded area with seating and running WiFi and power to the labyrinth, so Pastor Bob Hurst can conduct office hours on the labyrinth in good weather. As Bob says, “This ancient spiritual practice offers us a powerful new ministry tool to reach people in our community.”
June Boutwell, Conference Minister of the Southeast Conference United Church of Christ will visit Huntsville on September 20, 2015 to preach at the morning service and to participate in the dedication of the Labyrinth at the close of the 11:00 a.m. worship service.