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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 
May 4 - Venice labyrinth has some churchgoers balking at circles
 
Article: Emerging Church
 
With its burned-out lawn and overgrown bushes, the corner lot next to Bethel Tabernacle Church in Venice struck sculptor Robin Murez as ripe for resurrection. So Murez laid plans to turn the church-owned lot into a pocket park with an in-ground labyrinth, where neighbors could gather to chat, and aging churchgoers could park there for suppers and Bible study.

"A labyrinth is a very serene place made for spiritual meditation," Murez said. "The neighborhood needs some healing. The site looked like a scar." After months of plotting and planting, the Oakwood Labyrinth at 6th and San Juan avenues was officially unveiled on Saturday World Labyrinth Day.

Although passers-by and many neighbors are delighted by the change, the dozen or so elderly churchgoers (oldest member: 94) remain divided on the merits. "My neighbors told me it was a pagan-type thing," said Carol Powell, a member who lives a few blocks from the church. "My concern is you don't walk in a circle. You come inside the church to worship."

Moore and Smith said they have done their best to explain to the congregation the concept of a labyrinth as a path for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. After all, one of the most famous prayer labyrinths, dating from about 1200, is embedded in the floor at Chartres Cathedral near Paris.

Alyson Horn, who lives across the street, said the labyrinth "creates a feeling of community and actually ends up making the area safer. It changes the energy."

 

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