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New Hope Presbyterian Church
  • 7301 Shallowford Road
    Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421
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  • Phone (423)892-0853
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Regular Schedule
  • Adult Bible Study
    – 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM
  • Worship
    – 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM
  • Prayer Group
    – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Brown Bag Dinner & Bible Study
    – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Pastor's Page

Candace Worth

Candace's Pastoral Ponders...

One of the things which excited me about coming to New Hope was the Labyrinth.  For me, it was a sign that New Hope valued prayer, time spent with God, creation, and personal as well as the congregation’s faith walk.  The labyrinth at New Hope is a permanent installation, not just a novelty to try out for the weekend.  This shows that spirituality is a daily focus, not just every once in a while.  Labyrinths predate Christianity and are found in almost all ancient cultures and throughout history.  The layout of a labyrinth includes an entrance, a winding or twisting pathway and a center.  As long as you stay on the path you cannot get lost.  It is a symbol of our journey through life, more specifically our life in Christ.  We first must journey inward toward the center. In that process we leave behind the problems of today and refocus on God.  In the center we take time in a sacred space giving God a chance to change us. Finally, we leave the center and return out into the world transformed.  
New Hope’s labyrinth is looking a little worse for wear these days.  It’s still usable.  Several of our study groups used it last year during lent and I see the occasional visitor walking the path.  But overall, it needs some work.  The session has looked into fixing it.  One of the problems is that the foundation layer underneath the bricks has shifted and sunk.  It reminds me of what happens when we neglect our spiritual life. Our practices might still work whenever we do take the time to spend with God, but on the whole, the path is hard to see.  Paths stay cleared mostly through constant use.  Our plan is to make our labyrinth more accessible and structurally stronger in the future.  What are you doing to strengthen your faith foundation?  What practices are you committed to on a daily or weekly basis?  Check and see if a little weeding and walking are in order to get you back on a clear path.  God wants to walk with us and when we walk with God we can never get lost.
Below is what is called a ‘finger’ labyrinth.  It is a little easier to transport and access than the one in the church yard.  I encourage you to try it out.  Pray as you slowly trace your finger upon the pathway to the center and then back out again.  May your journey be blessed!