About Labyrinth

Whether you’re a long-time believer, or hopeful skeptic at best, spirituality in college is a journey with twists, turns, and dead ends. You have questions and beliefs, doubts and dreams, and school work to go along with it. Here at Labyrinth, we welcome and encourage you on your journey by providing a safe place to ask questions about God, explore and grow in your spirituality, and connect with other students. College can feel like a maze — we can help you find your way.

Labyrinth is a progressive Christian community that is LGBTQ-led, racially inclusive, and open to all students, whether atheist, questioning, or devout.

We've all got a story to tell.

We’ve all got our own spiritual journeys. A couple of years ago, we asked some of our students to talk about their religious upbringing, how they ended up at Labyrinth, and where their spiritual journeys had taken them in college. Then thanks to a grant, we asked editors, animators, and musicians to help us bring those stories to life. Here’s one of the videos that emerged, representing one student’s particular spiritual path. We hope it helps you get to know us a little better.

FAQs

It’s hard to say what Labyrinth as a whole believes, because we are primarily focused on spiritual exploration. We don’t have any particular creed or dogma we expect our members to conform to, just expectations about how we treat each other. That said, here are some general statements about our approach:

  • We value exploration and hard questions about God, religion, and life in general, with no promise of easy answers.
  • We believe in radical inclusivity, especially of our intersectional identities.
  • We are a safe place to be openly gay and openly Christian on campus.
  • We take the Bible seriously, but not too literally.
  • We value open dialogue with people of other faiths to help us learn more about our own faith and to find common ground.
  • We believe in working for justice and liberation for all people.

We get this question a lot! Yes. Both our ministers are Christian. We read the Bible in worship and Bible study. We celebrate Christian holidays. We also value the diversity found within the Christian tradition, and we don’t expect our members to hold to any particular creed or dogma – part of our free church roots. Whether or not our members identify as Christian is another question entirely. (Check out the video above for more on that.)

Our independent student ministry is supported by six local churches representing four denominations. These churches support us with generous gifts of space, food, money, and board leadership, but Labyrinth is and always has been student-driven and ecumenical.

In short, no. We have no interest in forcing labels or boxes that aren’t life-giving. Instead, we try to make space for everyone to explore spirituality and figure out what works for them within a supportive and diverse community. We’ve had several atheists come through Labyrinth and even serve as officers. (If you still aren’t sure, watch the video above!)

Yes! We have loved having both undergraduate and graduate students participate in Labyrinth. 

Our weekly schedule changes from semester to semester, depending on the kinds of events our members want to have. We always do worship, Bible study, community meals, and monthly social events. We also add events to our schedule based on the particular interests of our group, such as book club, movie night, meditation, and yoga.

Not at all! We provide a variety of opportunities to connect throughout the week, recognizing that everyone has different wants and needs on their spiritual journey. Come to what interests you, and don’t worry if you can’t come all the time. We are always happy to see you!

We choose a topic for each semester (check out our Bible Study page for more info). Typically, we pic a book from the bible to read in the fall. During the spring semester we examine particular topics, something like mental health or sexuality. When we’re reading a book of the Bible, we’ll read a few chapters together and learn about the historical and cultural background. We’ll ask questions – nothing is off limits – and talk about what it brings to mind. You don’t have to have any prior knowledge or your own Bible. When we study a topic, we bring in all kinds of sources – scientists, theologians, activists, and of course, the Bible.

We gather in the chapel to sing, pray, read scripture, discuss, and hold sacred space together. Our format can change from week to week, especially for special services such as Día de los Muertos and Palm Sunday, but here are some of the important pieces that are almost always present:

  • Music – using a variety of sources, including some written especially for our community
  • Call to Presence – when we set our intentions for our time together
  • The Reading – usually from the Bible, but sometimes we’ll include other writings
  • Community Prayers – when we share our joys and concerns with each other
  • Spoken Word – varies a lot, from sermons to group discussions to open mics to videos to a combination of all of them
  • Communion – an ancient ritual of connection, to our tradition and to each other
  • Benediction – a sending in peace to close our time together

After worship, we always have a meal together. This is a great time to build community and continue conversations that emerged in worship.

While the seeds of Labyrinth were planted around 2010, we’ve officially been an independent campus ministry since the 2013-2014 school year.

Right now, we’re 100% online. You can find the community on Discord and GroupMe, and all our events are on Zoom. We hope to return to our chapel and lounge in the fall.

The chapel is on 22nd Street between Guadalupe and San Antonio – look for the door in the middle of a mural. You can navigate to 457 W. 22nd Street to get close. The orange door to the student lounge is in an alley between University Christian Church and the UTC, right off of 21st Street near the Littlefield fountain. You can navigate to 101 W. 21st Street to get close.

Yes! On Sundays, we can validate parking on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Callaway House parking garage, using the entrance on Nueces Street between 21st and 22nd. This garage is just down the street from the chapel. We also have parking closer to our lounge for other events. Park in the spaces marked for University Christian Church in the lot on University Avenue, between Martin Luther King, Jr. Street and 21st Street, and make sure to get a parking pass when you get to the lounge.

Our Staff

Rene Slataper

he/him/his

Rene Slataper is our Minister of Outreach and Organizational Development. Rene is a transgender seminary student and minister who resides in Austin, TX. As a member of the United Church of Christ, Rene has been blessed with support to begin his ecumenical social justice ministry working with churches to define what open and affirming means for their transgender neighbors. Rene has been a volunteer mentor for transgender youth for over 3 years and has over 500 hours of service with LGBTQ youth in Central Texas. He facilitates a transgender and non-binary weekly meditation group, and recently became part of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Trans Seminarian Leaderiship Cohort. He enjoys playing guitar, camping with his dog, and Dr. Pepper.

Rev. Anna Strickland

She/her/hers

Anna Strickland is our Minister of Spiritual Formation and Communications. Anna is an alumna of Labyrinth, having graduated from the University of Texas in 2010 with her degree in Applied Learning and Development. She graduated with her Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology in June of 2020 and was ordained as a Baptist minister on All Saints Day of the same year. As an artsy type, Anna brings creativity to our worship services and meditation group.

Luke Leverett

Luke Leverett

he/him/his

Luke Leverett is our Director of Music and Media. Luke is a singer/songwriter, guitarist, music instructor, father, and writer. Luke says, “I never think of myself as a starving artist, but a hungry artist. My songs are about being in between, and I am.” Luke leads us in worship with music from old hymnals, new song books, and original music.

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