Self-Guided Labyrinth Walk for Fall Equinox 2021

Directions for Labyrinth Walking

At the entrance
: Perhaps invite the guidance of the Spirit in your walk. Some people like to offer a concrete prayer for

guidance or help; some simply ‘set their intention’.

The walk in: Don’t “force” anything; walk with awareness of your feet, of sounds and sights, of feelings – you don’t need to follow those things and get involved with them, or lost in the story they might tell; just notice and let go. Be here.

At the Centre: Rest for a time in God’s Presence; you may wish to face the four directions; to be still; to be grateful; to listen. When the time is right, begin the path out.

On the way out: Again, enjoy the walk; if a thought or guidance comes to you, be grateful. If this is just the first time this week you have slowed down to do nothing but be and walk – just be, and walk. It’s a sacred gift.

At the end: Take a moment to give thanks for the walk, for the gift of it, for the fruit of it that may not come today, but at some moment when you need it.

Thoughts About Equinox

The Equinox of Autumn is a moment of balance between daylight and night. It is the start of our journey toward the Solstice, when the longest hours of night turn once again to the lengthening of day.

For many people this is a time of difficulty. Letting go of the summer can be hard, especially this summer that included some loosening of restrictions around COVID 19. With the returning to school this fall and bracing for a possible fourth wave, my family has felt the need to restrict our bubble once again, for the protection of ourselves and others. Perhaps you have had a similar experience.

Rather than looking at previous joyous seasons of our lives as being gone forever, we can focus on the ‘fruits’ of these seasons, what we have learned and how we have grown, and we can carry these with us into the future. Similarly, in the fall we gather the harvest of the summer growing season and take it with us into the upcoming months for nourishment.

We can also remember that, as always, we do not make this journey alone. The Spirit of God is with us as we move from the known to the unknown, from one season to the next. Also, we have each other as companions. You may like to walk the labyrinth with those in your bubble, or walk separately and then communicate your experience afterwards with a friend.

By Amy Hallman Grout with revised contributions from Rev. Dawn Vaneyk.

Gailand McQueen in Conversation: Celebrating the Labyrinth


Gailand McQueen joined MILC executive representative Natasha Gerolami to talk about his new book Celebrating the Labyrinth: A Journey of the Spirit.  In this interview, Gailand McQueen shares his wisdom about the history and practices of using labyrinths in spiritual practice.

Gailand McQueen’s new book Celebrating the Labyrinth: A Journey of the Spirit is available from Wood Lake Books.

Watch the full interview here.

Resources for National Indigenous People’s Day

Apology to Action: Reflections on the thirty-fifth anniversary is a fifteen-minute video prepared by the Manitou Intentional Learning Community in collaboration with the Canadian Shield Regional Council Right Relations Resource Team, that revisits the First Apology made to Indigenous People by the United Church of Canada in August, 1986, during the 31st General Council, held in Sudbury, Ontario. The video recounts a brief history of that event, reminds us of the words spoken by those who offered and received the Apology, challenges us to consider our commitment to reconciliation and calls us to act so that the words spoken that day can truly become “words of action and sincerity.” (Edith Memnook)

The video features reflections from Lisa Blais and Maxine McVey, Right Relations Resource Team, Canadian Shield Regional Council, and the Very Reverend Jordan Cantwell, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada.

The video is suitable for inclusion in worship services, especially on June 20, 2021, to mark National Indigenous People’s Day, and to spark discussion of how we, as people of faith, can live out this Apology. .

For those who cannot use technology in their churches, the script is available. You may find words that you would like to incorporate into worship services marking the Indigenous Day of Prayer. Please attribute the words to the speaker and mention this resource.

The additional resource, Apology to Action: A Pilgrimage for Reconciliation invites you to affirm your commitment to reconciliation by making a pilgrimage to the site of the Apology Cairn in Sudbury, Ontario, or to some place that is special to you. You are invited to reflect on the words of the Apology and the Response and to commit to the hard and humbling work of building right relations. This resource was created in collaboration with the Right Relations Resource Team. Sincere thanks to Lisa Blais for her contributions and her wisdom and guidance.

The video and the accompanying Pilgrimage Package are dedicated to the Very Reverend Stan MacKay, whose presentation to the Manitou Intentional Learning Community in April 2021 ignited this project.

Reconciliation: The renewal of a covenant – Very Rev. Stan McKay

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community is excited to welcome the Very Reverend Stan McKay, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada, to lead a workshop entitled “Reconciliation: The renewal of a covenant” exploring the spirit and intent of treaties and an Indigenous philosophy of life – “All My Relations”.

Wednesday, April 7th @ 7pm

Register for the Zoom workshop by clicking on Register.

Registration closed

McKay was born on Fisher River First Nation, a Cree community in Northern Manitoba and attended Fisher River Indian Day School and Birtle Indian Residential School. After ordination he served in pastoral ministry in Norway House and Fisher River, as national co-ordinator of Native Ministry, as the Director of the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Center and from 1992 to 1994 as Moderator of the United Church of Canada. He is presently working to build cross-cultural relations and participating in dialogue addressing injustices resulting from colonial history.

McKay featured in the 2017 documentary film Truly and Humbly: Memories of the first Apology directed by Dr. Hoi Cheu of Laurentian University that traces the memories of those present at the 1986 United Church Apology to First Nations People. In the film, McKay suggests that our relationships with each other and with creation are broken, and that non-Indigenous people have much to learn from Indigenous philosophies of life.