Church of the Woods remains open for prayer

From Rev. Steve Blackmer of Church of the Woods:

The labyrinth and trails of Church of the Woods at 92 Foster Road in Canterbury remain open as a place of prayer, and we hope you will continue to come.

Walk to clear your head. Walk to find peace, healing, solace and grounding. Walk to move your body and be with the living things of this world. Walk to trust in your own journey, and in the unfolding of our lives together on this great Earth.

  • If you happen to encounter others, please rigorously respect the guideline of keeping six feet of physical distance. This may require some dancing as we walk, spreading ourselves out in space and time.
  • You will find a book for written prayers by the small bulletin board at the barn, so please add your prayers there. We will post scripture and other resources as fodder for your reflections.

The labyrinth is an ancient symbol of the spiritual journey. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is a long, circuitous path that winds into the center and then out again. In one moment pulled near to the center and in the next back to the outer rim, a traveler walks forward in trust. Here are guidelines on how to approach it.
  1. Quiet your mind: Walking a labyrinth is a contemplative practice. Pause and wait at the entrance, and focus on your breath. You may have a question or intention to release as prayer as you begin.
  2. Stay present: Walk purposefully, at a pace that lets you sink into the process. Like in other forms of meditation, acknowledge your thoughts when they come, and then let them go without judgment. You may also wish to focus on a specific prayer and intention throughout. When you reach the center, stay awhile in prayer and meditation. Be attentive on the way out.
  3. Exit: Turn and face the entrance. You may give an acknowledgement of completion, such as a bow, word of gratitude or an “Amen.”
  4. Reflect: After walking the labyrinth, reflect back on your experience. How do you feel in your body, mind and spirit?
  5. Walk often: Walking a labyrinth is a mysterious practice, with benefits and discoveries that may not be apparent right away. Return to the journey again and again, and the path through life will open to you.
In a time of deep uncertainty, we are asked to have faith in what we don’t know as we continue to walk the path.

~ The Rev. Steve Blackmer and Terésa Gardner