The St. Barnabas Labyrinth
Christians have been walking labyrinths as a spiritual practice for hundreds of years. The use of labyrinths has waned at times, but has been growing in the United States over the last fifty years. For the past three years the people at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village have had the dream that they would be able to build a labyrinth some day. In the summer of 2014, the church developed a Prayer Walk around the building, a white stone path for prayer and meditation. As that path was being completed, a stranger stopped by the church and asked if there was going to be a labyrinth and was told that there was a present dream of a labyrinth, but that it would likely be several years before dream became a reality. A few days later the stranger returned with a generous donation and said, “Maybe ‘some day’ can come sooner than you thought.”
While a labyrinth looks very much like a maze, its purpose is quite different. While a maze is a puzzle, usually with tricks or dead ends, a labyrinth is a continuous path that leads to the center and then leads back out. There are no tricks, no dead ends. The intention is that those following the path inward are moving closer to God at the center and then returning to the world to do God’s work. Landscaping, artwork and signage are still being developed, but those wanting to wak this sacred path are welcome now.
The labyrinth at St. Barnabas, masterfully crafted by Byron Shutt of Maple Leaf Landscaping, is located outdoors, on the east side of the building, along the Prayer Path. It will welcome quiet, prayerful visitors at any time during daylight hours.