Skip Navigation LinksLabyrinth

​​​​​​The Labyrinth

The labyrinth at Garden St. United Methodist Church was made possible by a generous grant from the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2010. Funding was provided to remodel the upstairs chapel to provide a space for the college ministry.

The lighting and labyrinth were designed by Stephen Marshall Design of Edmonds, WA. The labyrinth design was modified by Marie Kuch after GSUMC staff, volunteers and college youth attended Veriditas labyrinth facilitator training in San Francisco, CA. The labyrinth was installed by Scott and Angie Ritchey, Marie Kuch, college youth, and other church volunteers in 2010. It was dedicated by Bishop Grant Hagiya and the GSUMC congregation in October 2010.

The labyrinth and upstairs chapel are reserved for use by the college ministry on Wednesday evenings during the school year. ​

The labyrinth is open for walking 9:00am-4:30pm Monday-Thursday​​​​​​; and Sunday mornings, and for special prayer services; GSUMC members, friends, and the public are encouraged and invited to walk the labyrinth during these times.​ Please stop by the church office to let us know you're in the building, and to ask any questions that you may have about walking the labyrinth.

Why Walk a Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are used worldwide as a way to pray, quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, meditate, gain insight, self-reflect, reduce stress, and to discover innovation and celebration.

"As you follow a winding path...

you might cry tears of grief or joy, 

solve the riddle of a messed-up family or work life,

feel better about an illness, 

or gain spiritual insight." -LA Times

What Is a Labyrinth?

A labyrinth can be described as a walking meditation or path of prayer. Labyrinths have ancient and anonymous origins and are therefore an archetype, a pattern that is universal to all of humanity. They have been found in many cultures all over the world -- on pottery, coins, tablets and tiles that date as far back as 5,000 years. Many patterns are based on spirals and circles mirrored in nature.

Labyrinths are generally constructed on the ground so they may be walked along from entry point to center and back again. They are mostly constructed in the form of a circle, symbolizing unity, oneness or wholeness. The term labyrinth is often used interchangeably with maze, but modern scholars use a stricter definition: a maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage with choices of path and direction; while a single-path labyrinth has an unambiguous through-route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.​

How Do You Walk a Labyrinth?

 The most important guideline is that there is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. These are only suggestions. 

To prepare, you may want to sit quietly and reflect before walking. Some people come with a question, others just to slow down and take time out from a busy life. Some come to find strength, or to find comfort in times of grief or loss. Children (and adults too) may walk, dance or run for pure joy in the present moment.​ 

You may want to reflect on a challenging or comforting scripture passage or verse; or walk and pray the Lord's Prayer. The important thing is to experience your experience; anything that happens on the labyrinth can be a metaphor for your life. Sometimes a walk is relaxing and that is all; sometimes you may be filled with peace or an insight. It is different for each person and each walk. 

The same path is used to enter and exit the labyrinth. Try to breathe deeply, become aware of your body, and find the pace your body wants to go. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets your needs. You may go directly to the center to sit quietly, you may stay in the center to meditate and pray, you may stand, kneel or sit, you may walk slowly, stretch or even skip at any time!

Generally there are three stages to the walk: 

1) releasing on the way in, 

2) receiving in the center and 

3) returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. 

Symbolically, and sometimes literally, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.

Sometimes journaling or drawing after a walk is helpful to honor and record your insights and experiences.