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Walking by faith

A new way to help your physical and spiritual health is coming to Suffolk.

Suffolk Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of North Broad Street and West Constance Road on a sizable piece of land. In this open space, community members walk their dogs, kick a ball around, or do other physical activities. Now, this space has a new purpose as a prayer trail.

“It will be a great place to walk in God’s creation and renew your mind,” said Maryanne Persons, an elder at Suffolk Presbyterian Church.

This trail consists of four legs to represent the acronym A.C.T.S., a common prayer guide that stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. The first leg would be completed while adoring or worshiping God and who He is. The second leg would consist of confessing sins and asking for forgiveness. The third leg is for a time of thanksgiving to God for the good things He has done. The last portion is supplication, which is when God’s guidance and help are sought.

Attached to the trees along the path are signs letting the walker know which part of A.C.T.S. they are on and further instructions if needed. The trail wraps around the entire property to complete a grassy 0.4-mile circle. The path is uneven and unpaved, but the signs lead the way to complete the prayer.

“Nonbelievers are welcome to walk the path and enjoy a walk to clear their mind,” said Persons. “This trail is not just for our church, but for the community at large.”

Due to COVID-19, the church has not been able to meet in person. Instead, the congregation meets once a month for an outdoor service and communion. At 5 p.m. on Sept. 20, the church is holding a tailgating picnic to celebrate a new fiscal year and dedicate the prayer trail.

“We hope that people will feel free to use it for spiritual and physical strength,” said Persons.