Many Christians prayerfully consider their votes before casting them, but a South Australian Lutheran college and its local congregation are reaching out to their wider community with an invitation to walk through a specially curated prayer labyrinth on Australia’s federal election day on 21 May.
The new Encounter Prayer Labyrinth, which is a joint initiative of Encounter Lutheran College and Victor Harbor Lutheran Church south of Adelaide, first opened to the public on Good Friday this year. Themed around the Stations of the Cross, the labyrinth was visited by 140 people. On 21 May, the labyrinth will help walkers consider the blessings of living in Australia, either before they vote, which they can do at the college, or afterwards.
In 2019, Encounter Lutheran College purchased 28 hectares of land adjacent to its existing property and Principal Kelvin Grivell says the college was ‘keen to explore ways that the space could be used to promote a greater understanding of our spirituality, and the relationship that exists between ourselves, others, God and creation’.
‘I have always dreamt of having a labyrinth on campus at Encounter’, says Kelvin, who had experienced the valuable reflection time that comes with walking a labyrinth. In addition, College Pastor Nigel Rosenzweig, who serves Victor Harbor Lutheran Church, has had a long interest in developing sacred spaces, interactive prayer stations and labyrinths.
So, when the opportunity came for the congregation to apply for a LLL 100th-anniversary grant which was successful, the dream came to life. Volunteers from the church helped to create the labyrinth at the college in the lead-up to Easter.
‘The new labyrinth has already been a blessing to our college community, with every student engaging in this space during Holy Week’, Kelvin says.
The Encounter Prayer Labyrinth will be open to the public from 8am to 5pm on Saturday 21 May at the college, on the corner of Adelaide Rd and Agnes Gillespie Drive, Victor Harbor. Photo courtesy Encounter Lutheran College.
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