First Congregational Church’s Community Labyrinth
The Labyrinth is an ancient symbol for the spiritual journey and is found in almost every culture around the world. In the middle ages (~12th century), labyrinths were built into the floors of numerous European cathedrals, some say to teach stone masonry and mathematics to university scholars, others say to provide a place of Pilgrimage for Christians unable or unwilling to risk the journey to Jerusalem in the dangerous and troubled time of the Crusades. The labyrinth at First Congregational is modeled after the medieval labyrinth laid into the floor at Chartres Cathedral (60 miles south of Paris).
Our labyrinth was built with the hope and intention of truly being a community labyrinth, and we invite members of the wider community to come walk it whenever they feel drawn. It is meant to be a place of peace and blessing; more of a place to be than a thing to do. Its single, circular path invites the walker to simply put one foot in front of the other, finding their way to the center of the labyrinth, and perhaps of their own heart.
Some interesting facts about our labyrinth:
- The ground was leveled at the end of May 2010, and concrete was poured at beginning of June
- Between June 12 and September 11, 2010, 63 people put in approximately 1,250 volunteer hours to build the labyrinth
- The labyrinth is made of twenty-six tons of granite and flagstone. The granite is from northern Mexico (the reddish stones that outline the path) and the flagstone is from Montana (the mosaic pattern that makes up the path).
- Our labyrinth is modeled after the medieval labyrinth found on the floor of the Chartres cathedral in France. The labyrinth in Chartres was built around 1200 C.E., and took anywhere from four to fifty years to build (ours took three months).