Emerson Field News

10/25/2020 Edition

In our church’s ongoing endeavor for deeper spiritual meaning for each of us, a labyrinth is being installed on the Emerson Field. This is not an elaborate facility, but rather a simple introduction for our use. Those of you who have experience with a labyrinth need no introduction. For those who have not, information concerning it’s use and purpose will continue to be discussed here.

The Labyrinth

We are all on the path… exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path. A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. The labyrinth has long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

Duane Melling, member

Board of Deacons

The Labyrinth

11/01/2020 Edition

As many of you are aware, a labyrinth has been under construction on the Emerson Field. It is now completed and ready for your use. It is a simple design, outlined by a Manila colored rope. It is located to the left of the entrance to the field, beyond the fire pit that Amy uses with the youth. Please walk toward the edge of the field, behind the backstop until you notice the rope in the grass. It is pinned tightly to the earth to allow the grass to be mowed over top of it. Please explore it as you wish, considering carefully your personal Christian walk. Some thoughts on how you might walk will be shared here in future issues.

Duane Melling, member

Board of Deacons

 

11/08/2020 Edition

We Explore Prayer as We Walk the Labyrinth

As we begin our adult relationships with God through prayer, walking the labyrinth can introduce us to another type of prayer - prayer in motion, instead of prayer in absolute stillness.

We walk the labyrinth in silence, respecting one another's private time in prayer.

Each person reacts to the labyrinth differently, but the experience is valuable for everyone in that it does broaden our experience of prayer, giving us all a new perspective on what prayer might be.

There are three movements to the labyrinth, and you are free to make of them whatever you like:

Moving Inward

Centering

Moving Outward

Please use these suggestions if you find them appropriate. You might want to select one from each movement and try it, or create your own rhythm to each of the movements. Using all the suggestions at once is overwhelming.

 

Moving Inward

(A time to cast off, discard, divest, unwrap, forget)

  1. Discard our many roles (mother, father, wife, husband, sister, brother, student, accountant, teacher, pastor) and simply say "I am."

  2. Leave the noise, demands, voices around us, and enter a soothing silence.

  3. Unload our guilt, resentment, self-hatred, failures, depression, shame, and forgive ourselves.

  4. Set aside all the things we think we want and need, hoping to find what God wants.

  5. Leave the familiar world of day-to-day living for a different experience.

  6. Choose to ignore all our ideas about God and theology, and return to the beginning  of our faith.

  7. Reject the anxious desire to get the most out of the labyrinth, simply becoming open and expectant.

 

Centering

(A time to be open, expectant, empty, naked, and receptive, as though we were receiving a gift)

  1. Take the risk of recognizing an emptiness within ourselves that only love can fill.

  2. Enjoy the silence, stillness, waiting, and the simplicity of nothing happening.

  3. Take time to listen to an inner voice or to nothing or to mystery.

  4. Contemplate the blessing of the hidden nature of God who cannot be fully known, cannot be manipulated, cannot be made into an idol, cannot be pinned down, contained or tamed.

  5. Consider the possibility of the new, the miraculous, the transfiguring entering our lives.

  6. Remember that the Holy Spirit, like the wind, blows where she will.

Moving Outward

(A time to gain direction, satisfaction, comfort, and new energy)

  1. Decide to continue a journey deeper into the love of Christ.

  2. Refuse to take up again the guilt and hatred of the past.

  3. Seek a simpler and more focused life.

  4. Rest in the knowledge of God's unconditional love.

  5. Move away from anxiety toward peace and faith.

  6. Seek the direction of the Holy Spirit.

 

For more information see http://www.lessons4living.com/walking.htm

or http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/

Duane Melling, member

Board of Deacons

 

Join us for worship!

Sundays at 9:30 am

followed by

coffee fellowship

in the Emerson Center

Site map

The Congregational Church of Topsfield
9 East Common Street
Topsfield, MA 01983
Phone: (978) 887-2101
Fax: (978) 887-9531
General email: office@topsfieldchurch.org

                         Useful links

The Church Office is in the Emerson Center at 9 East Common St. across from the Town Common.

Office hours are

Mon. – Fri. 10 AM – 1 PM and by appointment.

Summer Office hours are

Tues. - Thurs. - 10 AM - 1 PM and by appointment