Labyrinths have been discovered dating back thousands of years. They represent a place or journey for prayer or meditation, a pilgrimage if you will. They became important in the Christian world during the crusades when it was not safe to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and churches installed them on their grounds.
Walking the Prayer Labyrinths of Las Vegas is a ministry of the North District of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The purpose is to introduce the community to a prayer and meditation practice and to acquaint them with the many opportunities offered in Clark County. A group has met monthly for 3 years, and over 250 participants have joined for at least one event.
The history of Labyrinths traces back thousands of years, and some type of meditation path has been identified in almost every culture.
Public parks, churches, hospitals, Red Rock Canyon, and rugged desert have hosted the walkers who come from all parts of the county. Participants include those from several faith traditions, those who find their interest is historical or cultural, and those who just want to know more about the area of Southern Nevada.
The group has traveled to Laughlin to the site where 8 different labyrinths have been constructed, and to Pahrump to view the NV Co-operative Extension Labyrinth Garden. Some of the more interesting locations have been the Cactus Joe’s Cactus Nursery, the majestic private home in Boulder City overlooking Lake Mead, and a beautiful view of the valley from Journey United Methodist Church.
Indoor installations may be temporary like the canvas one available to community groups and churches, and more permanent installations like the indoor painted one at University United Methodist Church.
A lighted portable unit purchased with a grant from the Southern Nevada Foundation is available on request.
The United Methodist churches providing permanent labyrinths in the District include Journey, St. John’s, and University, as well as Potosi Pines Camp and Retreat Center. Trinity United Methodist Church in Vegas has a prayer path available. Several of the churches have portable units which can also be used.
During this year of isolation participants have been encouraged to go on their own to one of the many sites in the are which can be located at: