The First Congregational Church of Berlin recently installed a labyrinth in their backyard. The classical, seven-course labyrinth was designed and installed by church members. The pavers were unloaded and moved by athletes from U-32. The labyrinth is open to the public during daylight hours.
The story of the church’s labyrinth began months ago when both the fall and adult bible studies became curious about labyrinths after hearing how God had used a labyrinth in the desert to speak to Rev. Dereen while she was on sabbatical in Arizona. After a field trip to Bethany United Church of Christ in Montpelier to learn about and walk the labyrinth painted on the floor of their chapel, the idea was put forth to build a labyrinth at the First Congregational Church of Berlin.
After much planning during the summer months, and a generous donation of building materials, the labyrinth came together during the last week of September.
Labyrinth walking in an ancient practice used by many different faiths for spiritual centering, contemplation and prayer. Entering the path of a labyrinth, the walker walks slowly while quieting their mind and focusing on a spiritual question or prayer. A labyrinth is not a maze. It has only one path to the center and back out. It has no blind alleys or dead ends. The path twists and turns back on itself many times before reaching the center. Once at the center, there is only one way back out. In this way, it symbolizes a journey to a predetermined destination (such as a pilgrimage to a holy site), or the journey through life from birth to spiritual awakening. The labyrinth at First Congregational Church of Berlin is a simple one with pavers marking the edges of the grass path to the center stone and back out.
Members of the public are welcome to walk the labyrinth at any time. However, there is no outdoor lighting, so walking at night is not encouraged.