Labyrinths of St John's

Welcome to the Labyrinths of St John's.

What is a Labyrinth?

A labyrinth is a patterned, circular walking path from the edge of a circle to its centre.

Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has just one path to the centre, and the same path leads back out. This single path requires the walker to watch carefully where the path leads and slow down, both physically and mentally.

Such a slow deliberate pace creates time for our minds and hearts to think more clearly and pray or meditate with our whole body.

Our Labyrinths – Outdoors and Indoors

St John’s vision:
As Christians we are a source of love, hope and inspiration, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our congregation and the wider community through a spiritual connection with God.

The 11-circuit, 42-foot diameter, outdoor ‘Chartres design’ paving stone labyrinth was installed behind St John’s church hall in 2006. The St John’s outdoor labyrinth is available for walking at all times – weather permitting, throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Our smaller 7-circuit ‘Chartres’ style indoor labyrinth was lovingly painted onto the floor of our church hall in 2009 by parishioners.

In 2011, the first addition of professionally designed labyrinth landscaping was installed, thanks to a generous donation from the Ian Henderson Foundation. An extension of the plantings was undertaken in preparation for the 175th celebration in 2014 of St John’s founding for Christian Mission in 1839. Funding was once more provided by the Ian Henderson Foundation now in conjunction with the St John’s Labyrinth Memorial Fund. The landscaping was dedicated to the glory of God in September, 2014.

Our labyrinths have been used as part of the Day Hospice Program at the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice since the fall of 2014. This community outreach initiative, which involves St John’s volunteers as facilitators, is a component of our commitment to Hospice in fulfillment of the receipt of a GIFT grant from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in July 2014 for the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice.

The indoor labyrinth may be booked for individual walks or for groups and workshops. Please contact the Parish Office at 613-592-4747, or e-mail march@magma.ca.

It is our hope that you may find either one helpful and inspiring for your own spirituality and peace.

Events on our Labyrinths

Throughout the year, please watch our calendar for details and confirmation that we will hold the following special walks:

  • World Labyrinth Day, the first Saturday in May
  • Good Friday Lenten Walk and Vigil
  • All Saints' Day or All Souls' Day Memorial Luminaria Walk

Outdoor Labyrinth, St John's

outdoor labyrinth

labyrinth - landscaping

Indoor Labyrinth, St John’s Hall

indoor labyrinth

Etiquette on the Labyrinths

A quiet, respectful environment is necessary for walking a labyrinth successfully:

  • Turn off cell phones.
  • Put down purses, backpacks, briefcases and unnecessary coats.
  • Many people choose to remove their shoes.
  • If you must speak, whisper.
  • If you want to pass others, please go around them.
  • Relax and take your time.

Children and the Labyrinths

Provided no adult walks for prayer and meditation are in progress, we welcome supervised children and their families to run, walk and play on the outdoor labyrinth.

Extensive educational research supports the labyrinth as a tool in child development.

Labyrinth Resources

For further information and resources concerning labyrinths, please visit the site of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, or the Veriditas website.

Labyrinth Education and Training

St John's Training of Facilitators: In May 2010, St John's welcomed the Rev. Canon Dr. Lauren Artress to the Ottawa Region. She conducted a one-day workshop, Sacred Pattern, Sacred Path, as an introduction to Labyrinth and facilitation. (This could be taken on its own, or as the prerequisite for the two-day qualification course, below.) Approximately 45 people participated, predominantly from the Ottawa Valley, but also from BC and the Northern USA.

A two-day course was held in May 2010, where participants became accredited Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitators. Phyllis Paryas and Marguerite Rodrigues from St John's congregation participated and are accredited facilitators.

Booking the use of our Labyrinths

The indoor labyrinth may be booked for individual walks or for groups and workshops. Please contact the Parish Office at 613-592-4747, or e-mail march@magma.ca.

 

May your gentleness be evident to all.

And the peace of God,

which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ....

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

       -- Philippians 4:5-7