Winter Solstice Labyrinth, “Blue Christmas” Service And More At Saugatuck Church

Winter begins at 11:48 p.m. this Monday (December 21). The weather gets colder — but the days get longer.

To celebrate, Saugatuck Congregational Church invites the public to a winter solstice labyrinth blessing (Tuesday, December 22, 6-8 p.m.).

Labyrinths are a series of concentric circles with many turns all leading to a center. They’ve been important spiritual parts of many cultures for thousands of years. Walking a labyrinth provides a calming meditative state that re-energizes, reduces stress, helps re-focus and nourishes the soul.

Liam Borner, in the labyrinth he helped create.

Liam Borner, in the labyrinth he helped create. (Photo/E. Bruce Borner)

Saugatuck’s 7-ring labyrinth spans 50 feet. The path is lined with over 1500 bricks. The church says that “world-renowned dowser Marty Cain assisted in determining the optimal location of the rings, the spine and its entrance. We hope it will become a spiritual retreat for the entire community.”

The labyrinth was an Eagle Scout project by church member and current Staples High School senior Liam Borner.

During several October weekends, members and friends of the church — along with Boy Scout Troop 36 — dug trenches and installed bricks (left over from the recent renovation project) in a special tree-lined section off the front lawn.

That’s just 1 of 3 special events to which Saugatuck Church invites the entire community.

Tomorrow (Sunday, December 20, 4-5 p.m.), a “Blue Christmas” candlelit worship service is open to anyone who is lonely, grieving or feeling down.

“Are you grieving, struggling, unemployed, uninspired — or just plain blue?” the church asks. “Do you feel disconnected from the holiday spirit? You are not alone.”

The event — co-sponsored by the United Methodist Church — includes music, prayer and reflection by the glow of candlelight.

As he did last year, Santa will again appear at the Saugatuck Community Church's Christmas Day reception.

As he did last year, Santa will again appear at the Saugatuck Community Church’s Christmas Day reception.

On Christmas Day (Friday, December 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.), Saugatuck Church hosts a free community reception, with a light lunch and holiday treats. Bob Cooper and Suzanne Sheridan provide live music.

That event is co-sponsored by the United Methodist Church, Unitarian Church and Temple Israel. Saugatuck Church calls this “a happy result of our years spent with no church home of our own,” following a devastating Thanksgiving week fire 4 years ago.

Transportation to the church on Christmas Day — or food delivery to your home — can be arranged by calling 203-227-1261. To volunteer or make a donation, go to www.SaugatuckChurch.org. Then click on the Christmas tree — and smile.

8 responses to “Winter Solstice Labyrinth, “Blue Christmas” Service And More At Saugatuck Church

  1. I hope that the Saugatuck Church will eventually display a similar interest in the welfare of its abutters. To be sure, the unfenced, off-leash dog park that it operates on a wooded portion of its property is decidedly less calming for the put-upon wildlife and neighbors that habitually find themselves at the losing end of same.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      The wooded land on, and by, my church is frequented by many walkers with dogs, and I’ve never heard a complaint.
      Sounds like your dog owners need to be leashed, rather than building yet another fence.

      • The terrified wild animals tend not to be especially good advocates for themselves. Especially the baby fawn who recently lost her life to the three dogs that could not read the prominently placed leash signs.

        • Nancy Hunter Wilson

          That is horrible. If you are a witness, what did you do?
          Still, fences won’t keep the wildlife in. Then again, a fence may keep irresponsible dog owners out. A very sad quandary.

          • I tried, in vain, to keep up with the dogs and the fawn but to no avail. Very sad. I did speak (politely, through gritted teeth) with the dogs’ owner but this proved useless: she just let them off their leashes the very next week. A fence along a portion of the church’s dog park would help keep dogs from entering an adjoining residential area where wildlife live and seek refuge but would not materially harm the ability of wildlife to move about . It’s not a perfect plan, but it seems reasonable. And responsible.

            • Nancy Hunter Wilson

              So, Westport has no Animal Control/License Bylaw?
              Owners of dogs not under control in off-leash areas are not fined?
              Why an animal owner would choose to be so reckless is perplexing, disturbing.

              Good luck with your plan.

              • Thank you very much for your good wishes, Nancy but I actually am without a plan. Efforts to communicate with the property’s owner have not, to date, been successful.

  2. Aracelli Cetina

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