Faith in motion: experience the Prayer Walk at The Deerfield



“Prayer is a walk with God,” American preacher Kenneth Hagin once said. Well, at The Deerfield in New Richmond, WI, prayer is a literal walk in the park!

Designed to engage both body and spirit, the outdoor Prayer Walk pathway is the result of creative teamwork between the Spiritual Care and Physical Wellness teams.

Several years ago, while at Echo Ridge in Oakdale, MN, Campus Pastor Fred Brumm and Fitness Director Lynn Truninger brainstormed and asked,

What can we do to bring physical wellness into partnership with spiritual wellbeing?”

“As we were talking,” Pastor Fred said, “two very simple things occurred to us: walking and prayer. And how could we combine those?”

Now residents, families and staff can reflect and refocus simply by taking a Prayer Walk.

Experience a virtual walk with Pastor Fred around the grounds in this video:

Various garden stones dot the outdoor walkways along The Deerfield. Set about 20 paces apart, each stone marks an aspect of Christian faith with words such as: hope, belief, dream and welcome, among others.

The journey is supported by a map plus a small ring binder that contains short prayers corresponding to the stones.

“It’s been interesting to see how folks have adopted this with enthusiasm,” Pastor Fred reflects, “We discovered that it doesn’t need to be anything structured or planned for them.”

He describes families who visit their loved ones and see the path. “As they’re enjoying the beautiful flowers in the reflection garden and the sunshine, they see the prayer stones along the way. They follow them just to see where they go, and it promotes really interesting conversation.”

“The path is supporting the spiritual wellbeing of residents, families and staff,” notes Pastor Fred. “Staff use this prayer path during their breaks and have found it meaningful as a time of refocusing.”

Kate Nirmaier, Life Enrichment Assistant, adds, “To be able to walk in nature and then follow a path with different focuses on prayer and the spiritual life is so incredible. We have a lot of conversations about our faith along the way.”

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