Copyright © 2012 StarNewsOnline.com
Reprinted with permission
If you happen to visit Saint Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southport on Tuesday afternoons or Saturday mornings, you will see a lot of activity going on behind the church. But be aware that the volunteers may try and put you to work.
Vicki Carlson, the parish nurse at Saint Peter, explains that volunteers from the church and community are building a labyrinth, which will be open for the public to visit when completed.
“Labyrinths are not something new, but the average person is not usually familiar with them,” Carlson said. “Primarily, they are thought to be avenues for religious or spiritual expression and have a long history, dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. They have been found in ancient caves, on sea coasts, in many of the old cathedrals in Europe and other countries. They have even been found in lands of the North American Indians, also.”
Carlson, a parish nurse for many years, believes healing involves body, mind and spirit, and she has spent many hours studying this relationship.
“In my research I kept finding references to labyrinths and the responses people gave when walking a labyrinth,” she said. “For some people, walking the labyrinth appeared to help them find peace, guidance and healing. It was also a tool for meditation and spirituality.”
In 2007, Carlson and others at Saint Peter Lutheran Church rented a portable labyrinth and invited the public to come and experience
“We were astounded at the response and decided there was definitely a need for a permanent labyrinth in Southport,” she said.
“The church council recently gave us the go ahead, and told us to select the area we would like to use for a labyrinth and get started ,” she said. “I’m happy to report that once the word got out that we were planning to build a labyrinth, the response has been phenomenal. We have had calls from people within the congregation and from the community who wanted to volunteer their time and talents, as well making donations of bricks, stones and lumber.”
“One day, I came into my office and found a drawing of a labyrinth on my desk,” she said. “The drawing was unusual in that normally a labyrinth is circular in form with a flower in the center, but this diagram had a cross as the center. It also called for an outer seating area where people could just rest, and a butterfly garden.”
Rik Zawadzki, a church member, had drawn the design and surrounding areas. Zawadzki has since been named site manager.
“There is still a long way to go before the labyrinth will be complete,” Carlson said. “Since all work is being done by volunteers, we are not on a time schedule. We do invite anyone interested in helping us to join us on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.”
Carlson said once the labyrinth is completed it will be open to the public. One day a month volunteers will be present to help people who might have questions or need to talk.
For more information, call Carlson at 368-7060 or the church at 457-5406. Saint Peter Lutheran Church is at 4843 Southport-Supply Road.
Community News: 343-2364