The labyrinth is an archetype of wholeness, examples of which, both ancient and modern, are found on every continent of the world. For thousands of years, the spiral within a circle has been used as a spiritual tool in dozens of different cultures. Examples have been found as far back as the Bronze Age. The labyrinth was adopted by the early Christians as a symbol of unity and wholeness. It was blessed by the medieval church as a substitute pilgrimage to Jerusalem during dangerous times, but its use died during the Reformation. It was reintroduced in the late 20th Century with the research and work of Dr. Lauren Artress into spiritual use at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. The labyrinth is again widely in use in churches, hospitals, schools and spiritual retreats world-wide.
The labyrinth is not a maze which hides the path, but an open spiral within a circle where the end is always visible. It is a metaphor of the journey we take through life with its many twists and turns. But as one moves forward, no matter how far the path takes one away from the center goal of relief and release from one’s stresses or griefs, one is always moving nearer to the center. Walking the labyrinth is a form of prayer. The labyrinth at Good Samaritan was built thanks to donations from family and friends. A Celtic cross stands at the top of the holy circle given by family and friends.
The Good Samaritan labyrinth lies at the back behind the Parish House. It is open and welcoming to all, members and passers-by alike. There is almost always a cool breeze blowing through the shade trees, even on the hottest summer’s day. Even if one doesn’t care to walk the shell-strewn path, there are benches to sit on, to relax and meditate in the holiness of the spot. Each of us has a profound need to connect to the Spirit that enlivens us.
Prayer & Care
Anyone seeking prayer is invited to join us and experience God’s healing love.
Our priest along with a pastoral care team visits those in ill health or who are otherwise unable to attend worship. Other people make phone calls. In particular, we have begun commissioning some of our members living in independent and assisted living facilities as members of Good Samaritan's pastoral care team to care for fellow residents and staff.
Prayer undergirds all that we do, the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan offers prayer support to anyone/everyone. There are two specific ways we are able to keep church members, their families, relatives and friends in our prayers.
Weekly, we receive an updated printed prayer list from one of our members either by email or a hard copy which is available in the Narthex for those without internet.
Holy Prayer Partners is another way we offer prayer support. Those who have volunteered to be prayer warriors have given their email addresses, when we receive a request to pray for an immediate or unexpected situation such as a hospitalization, job loss, accident, sudden health concern, etc. This method of praying has brought great comfort to those in time of need just to know a prayer community is praying for them.