The community has a new path for prayer.
High school student Chris Ganoe recently built a labyrinth outside Ivey Memorial United Methodist Church, located on the northwest corner of Jefferson Davis Highway and Harrowgate Road.
An International Baccalaureate student at Prince George High School, Ganoe was required to complete a “capstone” project to successfully finish the five-year program. His project was to have community impact and align with his personal interests.
Given his strong faith and commitment to his church, it was an easy decision to take the project from the classroom to the church grounds.
With the support and guidance of his mentor, Pastor Anita Mays Lucord, Ganoe proposed the project to the church council and trustees as a way to enhance Ivey Memorial and provide an opportunity for community outreach.
Once approved, Ganoe received financial support from various church members and groups and discounted pricing on materials from Lowe’s Home Improvement of Chester.
Challenged by winter weather and a wet spring, Ganoe and family members cleared brush and yard debris from the surrounding wooded area, cut tree limbs, and removed buried trash. Ditches had to be cleaned for better drainage and the construction site dug out and leveled.
Once a ground barrier was laid, 41 walking stones were patterned in a spiral design that leads to a brick cross in the heart of the labyrinth. Three tons of gravel finished the design of the pathway that connects the labyrinth to the church’s outdoor chapel. Final touches included a chain perimeter and dedication sign.
Ivey Memorial’s prayer labyrinth is an outdoor space that anyone can use for silent meditation through personal thought and prayer.
Prayer labyrinths have been used for centuries by all faiths for personal prayer walks and have proven to provide spiritual, emotional and health benefits to people.
Ganoe believes that the prayer labyrinth is an opportunity for people to experience the power of prayer.