On August 14th and 15th, Veriditas hosted a community celebration at Grace Cathedral to honor our 20 year Anniversary. Many of you were there, and we hope our eNews celebration summary will bring back good memories, and for those who weren't able to make it, here is a snippet of what was shared during the event, written by Judith Tripp. For a full overview, please visit the new "history" section of our website.
Lee Matthew, our current Board Chair told me that she felt that it is important that we tell our stories as an organization. Like the family gathered around the Thanksgiving table or the tribe singing around the camp fire, we need our creation stories. We need to know who we are by where we have been, the leaps we taken and the values we hold dear. Barbara, Margie, Gary and Dawn will be with us to tell those stories and I invite us all to listen to the tale, now 20 years in the making and telling. Listen for the threads of meaning that speak to you. Listen for the audacious and revolutionary. Listen for what soothes you into belonging.
Lauren once told me that she was very good at perceiving important underground streams in the culture. That she was enthralled by the Labyrinth and knew without question that she was to shepherd its reemergence in the culture is part of our story. We are grateful that she heard the call, perceived the long hidden in plain site teachings and persevered to bring us all this remarkable path of wholeness and peace.
Lauren is woman immersed in the inner life with her religious calling, psychotherapeutic training, and deeply introspecitve nature. She had made a bridge to the patriarchial world as a priest and held respect from people both in the conventional religious world and a collection of wild unchurched women and men. She was made for this assignment. Her deep friendship with Alan Jones, Dean Emeritas of Grace Cathedral gave her project the support it needed and Lauren's tenacity and steady, sure knowledge of what the labyrinth called her to do has given us our remarkable organization.
At the Celebration event, the letter was read aloud by Barbara Hartford, Manager of Peacebuilding Programs at the United Religions Initiative. Barbara has been a close friend of Lauren over the years.
After establishing a relationship with Chartres Cathedral, Lauren also nurtured a personal relationship with Pere Francois Legaux who was then rector of Chartres. Pere Legaux was at first skeptical of these Americans who came to his church but his heart opened to our sincerity. Eventually, he was made honorary Canon of Grace Cathedral (the second time in history that a Catholic priest was installed as an honorary Canon in an Episcopal church) and Alan Jones was installed as honorary Canon of Chartres, (the first time in history for an Anglican priest to be installed as an honorary Canon in a Catholic cathedral). This was an unprecedented ecumenical event and permanently bonded Grace Cathedral to Chartres.
Beginning in 1998, Lauren led pilgrimages which included Chartres and her labyrinth. In 1999, the first of Veriditas' Chartres pilgrimages began and continues to this day. I was priviledged to be part of that first event when the labyrinth was opened for the month of May and hundreds of pilgrims from the US came to our programs.
Margie Adam, singer songwriter, activist and labyrinth facilitator has known Lauren for many years. She shared her stories about the early days with Lauren and the link between the labyrinth and social activism.
Ispiritual Labyrinths, the proud product partner of Veriditas, is offering an anniversary Special Edition item for sale, its a special because there are only going to be 100 made and they are being offered for only $59.00.
All proceeds of this product after costs are being given to Veriditas and there is a limit of 1 per customer.
When you go to ispiritual.com go to VERIDITAS, there you will find Veriditas anniversary labyrinth cube.
From July 21-23, I had the long-anticipated pleasure to be a student of labyrinth design and construction with Robert Ferre and Lars Howlett. Sixteen congenial, compatible, eager labyrinth appreciators did our best to take in a plethora of labyrinth designs, including Lars’ categories of ancient, classical, medieval, contemporary, and avant garde. We created labyrinths out of beans, bottle caps, and using pens and colors. Robert explained basic concepts of sacred geometry as it relates to labyrinth building and created a flour 7-circuit classical labyrinth outside and a square 5-circuit classical one inside.
We tried to digest how to change the classic one into a medieval one, as well as information about materials, ready-made and hand-made tools, and resources. Our grand finale was building a full 11-circuit Chartres design labyrinth among trees nearby, created with multiple-colored cautionary tape and utilizing the group methods of 12 people tacking the tape to the ground at consistent intervals. The result? Voila! An 11-circuit Chartres design labyrinth, completed in 1½ hours. We walked it as a group prior to our final goodbyes.
Thanks, Robert and Lars!
Note: We will be holding Labyrinth Summer School on the East Coast next year. Hope to see you there!