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Congregation walks labyrinth for peace. (Other news).

The congregation of Anam-Chara, a mission charge of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in northwest Calgary, is using the recent terrorist attacks in the United States as motivation to hasten its construction of a prayer labyrinth on the property where the congregation hopes to place a church eventually.

The labyrinth was spray-painted onto the ground on September 22, and members of Anan-Chara (Gaelic for "soul friend") outlined it with stones. A local contractor donated his time and machinery to dig up, move and place the larger rocks.

The labyrinth is one of the largest in Canada at 37 metres in diameter. A trip into it and out again covers 1.3 kilometres.

Rev. Drew Strickland, minister of Anan-Chara, says a number of factors surrounding the terrorist attacks prompted the church to proceed with the labyrinth's construction. For one thing, the church property is located on a busy western approach to the Calgary airport and is plainly visible from the air. On September 26, the congregation held a candlelight walk through the labyrinth to pray for peace and justice in light of the horrific events in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania.

"Given the role of the commercial aircraft in the tragedy and the shocks it sent through the air travel industry, we thought it appropriate to conduct an event that could be witnessed by passengers aboard flights coming in to land," says Strickland. Participants were encouraged to place a stone as a tribute to someone who died and to mark something significant in their own lives.

Anan-Chara's neighbours have taken note of the congregation's activity and have been asking lots of questions. Especially touching, says Strickland, was the gesture of a Muslim man who runs a local bottle depot. He made a donation to cover the cost of refreshments served on the evening of the walk.
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Title Annotation:Anan-Chara Presbyterian Church, Calgary, Alberta
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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