FARGO — During this very stressful year of 2020, a church in north Fargo is reinvesting in an old-fashioned way of finding peace — a really, really old-fashioned way.

A labyrinth — a circle that looks a lot like a maze — is a prayer and meditation aid that has been around for more than 4,000 years. They can be found all over the world from Europe to Asia, and even in the earliest Native American villages.

Labyrinths were a feature of many medieval cathedral, most famously in Chartres Cathedral in France, where people still visit. Wikimedia Commons
Labyrinths were a feature of many medieval cathedral, most famously in Chartres Cathedral in France, where people still visit. Wikimedia Commons

Members at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Fargo first built a labyrinth in 2000 and 2001 when they found themselves with some empty land beside their church building, 120 21st Ave. N. After 20 years of North Dakota weather, the labyrinth was a little worse for wear.

So the rector, Father Jamie Parsley, decided with all the stress and worry in the world right now, it just might be the perfect time to get it renovated. The project is now complete and the labyrinth is open and available for the public to use, free of charge.

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What do you need to know before trying out the labyrinth?

Parsley says first, there is no one right way to walk through the labyrinth. While it may look like a maze, it is not. There are no dead ends — just winding twists and turns to the end, kind of like life itself.

Go into the circle, slowly and deliberately, with an open mind. Let go and listen to what God might be saying, release your worries, discover your calling, give thanks or walk in memory of someone.

More information

If you’d like to try to walk the labyrinth, you’re welcome to visit anytime day or night for no cost. There are pamphlets next to the church that give some direction on the history of labyrinths and advice to follow.

The church is holding a re-dedication ceremony of the labyrinth at 12:15 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 13, at 120 21st Ave. N. in Fargo. All are welcome; attendees are asked to observe social distancing practices.