Huff’s Union Church in Alburtis dedicated a prayer labyrinth, created for the congregation by Jason Hoffman, Life Scout with Longswamp Troop 575 in Mertztown, on Sunday, Sept. 15 following the 10:30 a.m. Worship Service.
The prayer labyrinth, across Conrad Road from the church building, was Jason’s completed Eagle Scout Service Project. The eagle scout service project is one of the requirements that a Life Scout needs to complete to reach Eagle, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
With the help of local craftsmen and volunteers including Jason’s home Troop, Jason has designed and constructed a Prayer Labyrinth for Huffs Union Church and the community as a whole. The labyrinth was a vision of the Prayerful Presence Group at Huffs and took several months to complete.
In a labyrinth there is one path which leads circuitously into the center—that same path leads circuitously back out. It is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to humanity. A prayer labyrinth is a labyrinth used to facilitate prayer, meditation and spiritual transformation. There are three stages of the Labyrinth:
Purgation (releasing): Occurs during movement to center, sheds the cares and distractions of life and opens the heart and mind.
Illumination (receiving): Occurs in the center. This is the time to “receive what is there for you” through prayer and meditation.
Union (returning): Occurs during exit. This involves “joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at working in the world.”
The prayer labyrinth at Huffs was designed as a handicapped-accessible labyrinth made of painted concrete with the colors of the labyrinth representing the colors of the church calendar. The labyrinth is located to the right of the Huffs Chapel and directly accessible from the parking lot. The church would like to invite the community to utilize the prayer labyrinth during daylight hours at their convenience.
Jason along with the Huffs Union Church Council would like to extend a thank you to all of the corporations and community organizations that donated supplies or money to make this vision a reality and they include: Rahn Concete, Eastern Industries, Carl Bales Excavating, Longswamp Lions Club, Longswamp Boy Scout Troop 575, Members of the Prayerful Presence Group and the Huffs Union Church Congregation.
Longswamp Troop 575 is a boy scout unit within The Hawk Mountain Council which today provides leadership and character development programs to nearly 6,000 youth with 4,000 adult volunteers throughout Berks, Schuylkill County, and part of Carbon County in eastern PA. The Huffs Union Church is over 250 years old and located in the small country village of Huffs Church, PA. Huff’s is a shared ministry congregation with members from Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the United Church of Christ that has been blessed together with work and sacrament to become the Body of Christ in our world though ministry to include: meaningful worship, creative Christian Education, intentional witnessing, dedicated service, and responsible support .