BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — A new prayer path will be installed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Maumee.
A prayer path serves as a walking prayer designed to focus on spiritual connection and inner peace. The pathway itself is circular or built in the shape of a labyrinth and is a single, winding path that will lead to a larger center space dedicated to reflection and mediation. At St. Paul’s, a series of personally inscribed donor bricks will also line the edges of the pathway.
When struggling or facing challenges, a prayer path is designed to promote healing and peace, said Karen Scribner, a church member who is spearheading the effort to create the prayer path. It is her hope that church members and neighbors in the community utilize it to experience a deeper connection to God.
“This is a vehicle to bring you closer to the Lord, or it can be used for meditating or to purge out any negativity in your life,” Scribner said.
Upon entering and walking the path, participants are encouraged to consider their personal petitions or prayers and acknowledge or release them. The center is a place to reflect, mediate and receive the Lord.
“They can stay there as long as they would like,” Scribner said. “That is the time to be in His presence, to be in meditation, for truly emptying everything out.”
Upon exiting, participants are asked to take into the world, or return to the world, what they have learned through the experience, she added.
The idea for a prayer path began two years ago, when Scribner and fellow parishioner Grace Garcia visited the Norma Stark labyrinth in Perrysburg and the Our Lady of the Pines retreat center in Fremont.
“For me, it was a very fulfilling experience,” Scribner said. “It is also very relaxing, therapeutic and holistic, and it will bring peace into your life.”
The path will be installed on the east side of the campus, in what is called Paul Park. The path will be flat to the ground, outlined in brick and made of grass so that participants may walk barefoot through it if they chose.
The exact size and dimensions of the prayer path are still being determined. Donor bricks, which will be permanently installed along path, are currently being sold. Proceeds from the sale of the bricks will benefit summer programming at Mosaic Ministries, an organization supporting children and adults living in South Toledo.
Tessa Lackey, St. Paul’s social media manager, said that instructional plaques will also be placed at the site of the prayer path for those who want to participate and learn about it.
“This is not just open to St. Paul’s, this is open to the entire community – anyone will be able to come and use it,” Lackey said.
The project should be completed in early July and updates will be posted on the church’s Facebook page.
A donor brick may be purchased for $39.00. Each brick can have up to three lines of engraving and up to 18 characters per line.
The bricks must be purchased with cash or check. Please make checks payable to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and include “Prayer Path” in the memo line.
For information or to order a donation brick, visit www.stpaulslive.com.
The deadline to order a brick is Sunday, June 27.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is located at 112 E. Wayne St., in Maumee.