While following the United Methodist Church’s General Conference earlier this month, a particular story caught my eye. Women who are part of United Methodist Women, our counterpart women’s organization, had made finger labyrinths “for weary General Conference delegates looking for respite from the stresses and strains of seemingly endless policymaking.”
I’d seen wooden and pottery finger labyrinths before, but these were quilted. As a quilter, I was captivated. I shared the news story with the rest of our Women of the ELCA staff. Another quilter on staff quickly found the pattern. In the days since, we’ve found all kinds of fiber arts labyrinth patterns and many different labyrinth designs too.
After making a quilted labyrinth following the UMW’s pattern, I found a different design that I preferred and created my own pattern, with a larger labyrinth that was friendlier to larger fingers. That’s the one pictured here.
[bctt tweet=”Has a labyrinth become an important part of your prayer life?”]
Since at least 2002, Women of the ELCA has included a portable labyrinth at its triennial gatherings. We’re planning to do so again next summer when we assemble for the Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis. Gathering planners have been inspired by UMW’s project, so be on the lookout for some finger labyrinths in our collective future.
Are you new to labyrinths? You might enjoy reading some of the history of this art form and how, since the Middle Ages, Christians have used labyrinths. Today many Christians use a labyrinth as a quiet place for listening and prayer. Many Lutheran congregations have installed labyrinths, either inside or outside.
Has a labyrinth become an important part of your prayer life? Have you built one in your backyard? (That’s a not-so-secret desire of mine!)
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director.