Posts Tagged ‘Myers Park United Methodist Church – Charlotte NC


6.12.19 … elevator talks and Gregorian chants …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park United Methodist Church – Charlotte NC:

I’ve mentioned this newly installed indoor labyrinth before. It is truly lovely and recreates a Chartres Cathedral feel in a wonderful chapel at MPUMC. The church plans to make it available to the public one week per month and to provide a labyrinth keeper to introduce new walkers and advise repeat walkers. I met my friend Toni who was the volunteer keeper from 6-8 pm.

While we were there, two men visited the labyrinth. The first stopped by on his way to an evening Bible Study on the Lord’s Prayer being held by James Howell, the senior pastor at MPUMC. He had not walked before and was interested, but didn’t have enough time. I think he will return. The second was a gentleman who is in charge of sound systems at the church, was instrumental in the installation of the labyrinth and has walked before. He came by to set up the music that another church member had requested. He had a nice CD recording of vocal, including Gregorian Chants, and other music appropriate for meditative labyrinth walks.

During this time, Toni and I walked. Oddly, the first thing I noticed was my noisy shoes. As soon as I got to an outer circuit, I removed my shoes and walked barefoot on the cool polished stone floor.

I noticed several things during this walk: the scored circle at center and the beautiful predominantly blue and yellow stained glass windows which reminded me of the lines typical in Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

As I reached the center, I realized that there are some instructions on how to pray the center rosette petals of a Chartres Labyrinth and one is to break down the Lord’s Prayer into 6 sections. I wish I had remembered it while the first visitor was there. See: The lessons of The Lord’s Prayer expressed through sacred geometry,

Immediately before finishing my walk, I looked up and noticed the beautiful organ; the organ is the reason the floor was re-done in this chapel to accommodate the organ’s weight and thus the reason for the labyrinth installation.

Afterwards, I looked over the new information brochures and thought them all very well done. It reminded me that I need to create my own “elevator talk” to introduce friends and others to labyrinths. I think I have a tendency to go on for too long rather than just introducing it and letting a person experience it.

And then we left MPUMC and had a delightful small plate meal at Foxcroft Wine… I think I could make a monthly habit of this.



2.6.19 … “Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.” – St. Augustine

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park Methodist Church – Charlotte NC:

Today, I walked with Toni my friend whom I met through the labyrinth community. She recently had a heart issue and can’t drive for a week. I wanted to get her out and walk a labyrinth and share some time and space with her.

Although I had planned to take her to breakfast and walk one of our favorites, the Morning Star Lutheran Chapel Labyrinth, she suggested that we attempt to walk the recently installed Myers Park Methodist indoor labyrinth. This labyrinth is an exciting new addition to our labyrinth community. A member of MPUMC’s congregation has donated a beautiful organ, and it is going to be placed in the Francis Chapel. And in connection with preparing the chapel for the organ, a decision was made to place a permanent indoor labyrinth, a stone labyrinth of seven circuits based on the Chartres eleven-circuit medieval pattern.

Most years Myers Park places a canvas labyrinth during certain holy days in this chapel. As a matter fact such a canvas labyrinth placed in this chapel is a part of my story of labyrinth walking during Lent. At the end of this summary, I have put my updated story…

But as for today’s walk, Toni and I were thrilled to find that the chapel was open and no one stopped us from walking. There were several workers in the chapel preparing for the installation of the organ. When we walked in the workers’ cart was sitting in the middle of the labyrinth.

After asking if we could move it, and I felt like I was moving the chairs from Chartres, we begin our walk. I felt giddy, and I think Toni did as well. The two workers there were initially quiet but every once in a while we would hear a hammer or a saw, but it did not distract from the wonder and privilege of walking here now.

And in the brochure I found a new St. Augustine quote:

Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.

We were pilgrims on an inaugural walk ..


From My Labyrinth Story:

Approximately 2011, eight years ago, Mary Bowman asked me to walk a labyrinth with her. We walked this labyrinth at Avondale. It had an immediate effect on me, and I began to research and walk other labyrinths locally. Within six months, I would describe myself as an aficionado and possibly an addict. The following spring in a continuing effort to add meaning to live in my life, I walked one of the temporary labyrinths which is only set up on holy days etc. This one was at Myers Park Methodist Church. After walking it, I went to Mary’s service on Ash Wednesday and Imposition of Ashes Service, a first for me in a Presbyterian Church. Mary asked me not to give up something but to take up a practice. I signed a purple card and put it in the collection plate saying that I would attempt to walk a labyrinth daily during Lent. This was 2012.

And I did, I walked almost every day over the Lenten Season. And I absolutely found it refreshing, relaxing, focusing and well worth my time. After Lent, I would miss it, and I probably walked a labyrinth every week to 10 days. I also found that when I traveled, I would seek out labyrinths. I walked labyrinths in Miami FL, Atlanta GA, the Berkshires, Washington DC, Boston MA, Louisville KY and Boulder CO.

When I came to Lent the next year and each subsequent year, I have made the same decision. I am very fortunate there are at least eight labyrinths within 40 minutes from my South Park home. So pretty much no matter what direction I am heading, I can find one and take 20 minutes. And each year at the end of Lent on Easter morning I feel renewed, refreshed and ready to set out for the rest of the Christian year. That is what it does for me. It focuses me.

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July 2020