The birth of PAXworks

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Taking photos for the  PAXworks photo Gallery

    I first  experienced the labyrinth in May 1993 when author Canon Lauren Artress brought her canvas Chartres style labyrinth to the Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis for a workshop.  The Nativity sanctuary was still under construction, full of debris and had no electricity. We scrambled to clear the mess and move scaffolding to  prepare space for the canvas labyrinth.  We found a case of six-day candles to light the way for a candlelight walk.  This was the first sacred event in the yet unfinished sanctuary.!

I then joined a committee to start a labyrinth ministry, and managed the construction of  Nativity's 35 foot portable Labyrinth.  I later talked some friends  into helping me build an outdoor labyrinth at Waycross Conference Center.  I got 'hooked' on building labyrinths, and have been building them ever since!.

 In Fall of 1997 I joined meetings in St. Louis with other labyrinth experts from around the country to share our experiences.  These meetings resulted in the birth in Spring 1999 of the Labyrinth Society. (TLS)  I am a founding board member and serve as a regional representative for the central U. S.

 In 1998 I met  with leaders of Indiana area labyrinth programs to coordinate some of our labyrinth-related activities. Initially, we worked together to present the Earth Day Labyrinth and publish a brochure with a directory of area labyrinths. We co-founded the Labyrinth Coalition, which sponsors symposiums for labyrinth program operators & facilitators.

In 1999, all this evolved in to the establishment of PAXworks and the website to share the peacefulness I find in walking the labyrinth,  photographs, products and other information about labyrinths.  PAXworks also hosts the web pages for the Labyrinth Coalition and Church of the Nativity. (Pax is a Latin word for 'peace'.)

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Enjoying weekly maintenance  on the Waycross Conference Center labyrinth.

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With Canon Lauren Artress at a Labyrinth Society Conference

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Contemplating  the beautiful labyrinth at Summerhill Retreat Center  2005

Working on the Labyrinth for Indiana Earth Day Festival


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Speaking at the dedication of the Fatima Retreat House Labyrinth 2002

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Pausing on the roof of Chartres Cathedral during a 2003 pilgrimage

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Working concrete with Robert Ferre in Redlands, CA 2004

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Visiting with Author Sig Lonegren at the NE Labyrinth Festival 2004

Molly the "Labri-dog" was our companion for outdoor labyrinth work. Here, she monitors our work, as we mowed a Chartres replica in northern Indiana. She lived over 14 years, and died in peace on 12-17-07.

    Through PAXworks, we have acquired the expertise to build nearly any size, shape, material or location of labyrinth.  It is not our intent to be a big,corporate, conglomerate making hundreds of labyrinths for tons of money; we make them one at a time, putting a bit of our soul into each one.

.We also arrange and facilitate labyrinth events throughout the country, and consult on labyrinth programs for churches, communities, retreat centers and healthcare facilities.

PAXworks is growing "beyond the labyrinth" to seek, explore and offer peaceful, prayerful pursuits, places, events and products.

I hope you benefit from your visit to and our other sites, Please email your comments. 

John E. Ridder   "The Labyrinth Guy."

  pwemailblock.jpg (2000 bytes) - phone  317 842 2997 -   P.O. Box 502244  - Indianapolis, IN 46250

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