Skip to comments.To Boy Scout, building labyrinth is a journey itself
Posted on 10/06/2006 12:59:10 PM PDT by fgoodwin
To Boy Scout, building labyrinth is a journey itself
Service - West Linn Lutheran's new footpath reflects Kevin Lenihan's vision and perseverance
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Kevin Lenihan first walked a labyrinth at age 14.
"I just loved it," he said. "Just finding an inner peace. That is the whole purpose of the labyrinth, to walk silently, really just calming down."
Now he's the designer of a new outdoor labyrinth at West Linn Lutheran Church that will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m. Sunday during regular church services. A reception will follow.
Lenihan, 17, a West Linn High School senior and a member of West Linn's Boy Scout Troop 149, designed and organized construction of the labyrinth, which symbolizes a spiritual journey, as partial fulfillment for attaining Eagle Scout rank.
He met with church leaders, figured out what supplies were needed and then organized and delegated the volunteer labor, most of it done by Boy Scouts and their families during three weekends last summer. His dad, Tom Lenihan, took a week off work to assist.
"Every time I was out there working, my dad was out there working with me," Kevin Lenihan said. His mom, June Lenihan, helped serve meals to volunteers.
The construction consisted of excavating and leveling a 30-foot-diameter area and building two 40-foot-long retaining walls.
Then 16 cubic yards of gravel were added to provide support and drainage. Afterward, 3,000 brick pavers were sorted, with half of them washed to remove white lime deposits to distinguish the labyrinth's red footpath from its whitish border areas.
During the project, several challenges, such as finding rebar, arose.
Pastor Barry Rogge offered Lenihan an easier route, suggesting he make the area into a meditation garden instead, but the teen would not be deterred.
"He had it in his mind, and he had to work quite hard to shape and describe his vision. We would say, 'Kevin, this is great, but,' and he'd come back with the answer, and then we'd say, 'OK, Kevin, what about this?' Topics like landscaping and safety issues and accessibility."
The hesitation from the church leadership had "nothing to do with us not wanting Kevin to do it, but (was) more (that) we were interested in a partnership with Kevin that would succeed," Rogge said.
"The most astonishing element was watching people organize and share Kevin's vision of what this could be," he added.
The vision was fulfilled July 10 with 759 work hours, from planning through construction.
"I knew it would take long, but this was really about seven times as long as other Eagle projects," Lenihan said.
Most Eagle projects require 100 to 200 hours, said Randy Tomsik, Lenihan's Eagle mentor and one of his troop's assistant scoutmasters.
"This was a pretty major undertaking, both from the amount of work that was required and some level of details that needed to be decided upon," Tomsik said.
All of the material was donated, and the church helped fund the project.
Kevin Lenihan will speak at the dedication to thank the community for its support, especially his Scout troop, his family, his church and Jon Accord from Pumilite Building Products for donating materials.
Also on hand will be Pastor Zane Wilson, who is assistant to the bishop of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- and an Eagle Scout.
"I am very impressed with this project and for the time Kevin spent," Wilson said, "and that he found something to do that has such meaning."
Cornelia Seigneur: email@example.com
Wow! That's a very substantial construction project.
How sad to invest so much in mysticism. He should put his time and faith into knowing Christ by studying the Bible.
Whenever I go to San Francisco, I see the flakes and nuts walking the labyrinth that the Episcopal cathedral has constructed in front of it. My family and I always line up at the window and peer down on them, placing bets on which one is going to make it around first, commenting on their "style," etc.
I entirely agree that they'd do a whole heck of a lot better by studying the Bible. But since the Episcopal Church constructed this thing, I'd say there's a lot of folks out there in the mainline who seem to be a little confused, shall we say politely. Of course, the Episcopal Church is also sponsoring the URI (United Religions Initiative), which I firmly expect to be the place where the Anti-Christ appears...
But that's no argument against a labyrinth per se. I think a labyrinth can help prepare a prayerful state of mind, especially for a person who is a little tense or troubled.
I do almost all my praying while walking. In fact, I have my best talks with my boys while walking, too. The mild exercise--- outdoors --- seems to clear and calm my mind. IMHO you can do that, and study the Bible too.
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.
I see absolutely no correlation between building a labyrinth and a lack of godly spirituality. It is the same as building a garden or any area in which a person feels more at peace and goes to pray or meditate.
I think a maze would be fun.