Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018
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Sylvania resident builds labyrinth at local church


Jacob Long, 17, right, enlisted church members and Boy Scouts to assist in the construction of a labyrinth Sylvania United Church of Christ.

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A little rain and no consumable water did not stop Jacob Long from building a labyrinth in Sylvania.

“It’s not ideal but it’s better than being 95 degrees out,” he said.

The 17-year-old Sylvania resident, along with friends and family, kept focused on finishing the labyrinth at the Sylvania United Church of Christ grounds on Erie Street.

Coordinating the construction of the labyrinth is part of his Eagle Scout project, which requires planning and carrying out a service project for a charitable organization.

“I asked my pastor Luke (Lindon) ‘what could I do’ and he said ‘how about a labyrinth,’” Jacob said.

“I always thought it interesting how their roots are in ancient Greek mythology.”

In Greek mythology, a labyrinth was built with confusing passages to capture the Minotaur, a creature that was half man and half bull.

Jacob was careful to point out that they are not mazes and described a labyrinth’s circular (or square) path as a spaghetti noodle wound around itself.

For Christian purposes, labyrinths were built for meditation.

“A walk in the labyrinth is supposed to open your mind and connect you to God,” Jacob said.

His mother, Renee, and father, Steve, along with his three younger siblings, were among 30 people who have assisted in completing the project in the church courtyard. That included fellow Boy Scouts and church members.

The labyrinth radius is 17.5 feet and 30 feet wide. The labyrinth will have 500 linear feet of paving stones. 

Mrs. Long said that eventually the labyrinth’s grassy path will be replanted and the area beautified with plants.

“It’s about the journey. Not the destination. You end up in the same place,” she said. “You walk it at your own pace. It’s like a metaphor for life.”

The structure she said, was designed to enter facing east rising sun and exist facing the west the setting sun.

Besides symbolism she said that while executing the project her son has learned life skills.

“It’s been a major process for him. He’s grown up. He communicates better. It’s been a challenge, but he’s learned to bring people together for a unified goal,” she said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 

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