Emmaus Labyrinth #56: Monaghan Presbyterian Church, Dillsburg, PA

This is one of a series of posts about a trip I took to walk labyrinths in July 2022. See this post to see why I refer to these labyrinths as my “Emmaus labyrinths.” Note: the numbering refers not to how many labyrinths I walked on this trip, but to the total number I’ve blogged about so far.

This is a very unique and spectacular labyrinth. Located at Monaghan Presbyterian Church, this is an 11-circuit labyrinth that’s been adapted to include the Presbyterian Church-USA logo in it. It has inlaid brick walls, and a crushed stone path.

Perhaps because of the visible connection in this labyrinth to the institutional church, my thoughts here dwelled on my own calling as a pastor, and what might be happening to that calling these days. It feels like something of a watershed moment in my career — my congregation is celebrating fifty years, I’m finishing my first ten years as their pastor, and most of the severe adjustments we made due to the COVID pandemic are finally ending. It feels like the right time to be considering my future.

I could think of three main avenues for my future: Is now a time to consider pursuing a change of call to a new church? Or is now a time to consider rethinking how I function as a pastor here, maybe find a new direction, like a renewal of call? Or is now the time to focus on Darkwater, and on getting the message out about life amid depression?

So I entered this labyrinth with the question: “What are you [God] calling me to now?”

An answer seemed so clear while walking this labyrinth: Focus on Darkwater. It’s not time to move. And it’s not the right time to rethink what I’m doing at the church. Just continue doing what you’re doing, and perhaps back off from trying to envision new things. Be supportive, and allow other leaders in the congregation to do the dreaming. For my part, pour more of my baptismal energy into a focus on Darkwater. Focus my constant desire for newness and inspiration into talks and other things regarding the book and its message.

On one level, this was too quick an answer – I want to spend some more time dwelling with this. But on the other hand, this labyrinth walk showed me very clearly where I’m starting from.

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