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Walking in Circles: A Forcing Change Briefing Note

December 4, 2012

The latest edition of Forcing Change tackles the issue of mysticism in Christendom, primarily the role of labyrinths as a tool for transformation. Based on an earlier version of an article I wrote for a church group, this report walks you through the history of the labyrinth, its use in esoteric societies – including Freemasonry – and the spiritual interpretation and objective of the experience.November FC 2012 Picture

Initially I was hesitant to re-open this subject, as so many other topics have yet to be explored. Nonetheless, a large number of churches today are flirting with the path of ancient mysticism, and often church leaders and laypeople alike are unaware of the deeper meaning of the exercise.

Allow me to share a few paragraphs from the opening of this edition of Forcing Change. Note: While an older version of my essay can be found online, this expanded edition is accessed through the member section of the Forcing Change website. If you’re a member, log-on and download your copy today. If you’re not a member, but appreciate the research involved in these essays and would like access to much more information, consider joining today.

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A few years ago my wife was asked to be a board member at-large for a Christian association in Western Canada. It was a term position, and the organization needed a woman from Manitoba to round-off its representation. Leanne accepted the offer, which required some travel as she would be working with a group comprised mainly of pastors from across the prairie provinces. She was excited and more than a little nervous about her role, and the responsibility it carried.

The finalized itinerary for her first meeting arrived a day before she was to fly out. As she worked through the schedule, excitement turned to dismay as she saw that time had been set aside to walk a labyrinth that was hosted in a member church. After discussing this situation, we agreed to pull together a paper outlining the history and meaning of the labyrinth, for we believed then, and still do, that many church leaders are unaware of its significance.

Those next twenty four hours were a whirlwind as research material was gathered and thoughts put to print, racing to have something in hand before her departure. And when Leanne left she had a rough draft to critiqued en route. More revisions followed as we emailed changes that evening, and when she arrived at the board room the next morning she was carrying a “hot-off-the-press” edition – complete with stomach knots as she considered how to tactfully broach the subject.

Her opportunity to open the topic came when the board sat down for supper. Ironically she found herself across the table from the pastor who was hosting the walk, and during the course of the meal the discussion turned to the labyrinth itself, which had now been cancelled due to time constraints.

“You need to read this article,” Leanne explained as she pulled the essay from her briefcase.

“I’ve read it already,” the pastor said dismissively.

Momentarily taken aback, Leanne responded; “No, you couldn’t have. It was written yesterday” – and the paper slide across the table.

In that brief exchange it was evident that the pastor had been approached by someone else with a different article, but with similar concerns, and hadn’t taken it favourably.

Leanne also realized something else: The talk in the room had ceased. All eyes were on her.”

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Read the rest of this investigative report by downloading the latest edition of Forcing Change!

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