A little more peace and tranquility is heading to downtown Dayton.
Christ Episcopal Church, 20 W. First St., hopes to introduce its new community labyrinth to the public in the spring or summer of 2018, Tom Schaefer, the project’s director, told this news organization.
As is encouraged with those who visit Grace Cathedral’s famed labyrinth in San Francisco, Schaefer said those who visit Reconcilation Labyrinth will be encouraged to walk in the labyrinth with an open mind and open heart.
“You walk in and you are kind of letting things go,” he said. “Then you walk out in the world again.”
Schaefer said it will cost about $30,000 to install the etched concrete labyrinth in a 24-by-24-foot space that once held the church’s Chapel of Reconciliation.
Dating back to 1956, it was taken down in 2013 due to structural issues. Part of that work was done using grant money that required that the space be usable by the public.
Schaefer said the church will have fundraisers to pay for the labyrinth. About $200 for the project was collected at the church’s annual Waffle Shop fundraiser.
Similar to mazes (there are no dead ends, and only one path to the center), labyrinths can be found in several cultures and religions.
Schaefer said they date back to 300 AD. in Christianity.
“It is very meditative, it is very quiet. It is very spiritual,” he said of walking in a labyrinth. “It is kind of a personal experience.”
Christ Episcopal five circuit labyrinth will be accessible from First Street, whether the church is open or not.
It will be one of a handful of labyrinths in the city, Schaefer said.
“We want to make it very walker friendly, very neighborhood friendly,” the 27 year member of Christ Episcopal said.
To that end, the church hopes to use artwork created by Dayton area youth in the labyrinth space.
Musicians and other entertainers could use the space during downtown festivals and events.