Labyrinth helps faithful spiral to deeper levels |

Labyrinth helps faithful spiral to deeper levels

Grass Valley’s Peace Lutheran Church is joining a nationwide movement to incorporate the ancient structure of a labyrinth into spiritual practice.

A small crew on Thursday stretched tape to plan and paint a five-circuit labyrinth on the property undergoing a $2 million expansion. It will be the area’s only outdoor labyrinth open year-round to the public without an appointment, the church’s pastor, Richard Johnson, said.

“It’s an ancient aid to meditation… It’s symbolic of the journey of life and of faith,” Johnson said. It was introduced to Christians when an 11-circuit labyrinth was built on the grounds of France’s Chartres Cathedral, he added.

“It was considered as a kind of substitute pilgrimage for people who couldn’t make it to the Holy Land,” Johnson said.

In the past decade, churches have rediscovered the labyrinth as a tool to help people delve into deeper spiritual levels as they slowly walk the circuit into the center, then back out. It often is offered on a large canvas that can be transported from place to place for temporary use.

Peace’s labyrinth will be dedicated at the completion of the church’s new 3,000-foot fellowship center, kitchen, classrooms and meeting rooms, expected in November, Johnson said. The expansion work started in August 2006.

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