Nature Church! promotes experiencing nature as “church” & lets Creation speak. Guided contemplative hikes mostly in silence. 25 minute contemplative sit. Guided rituals optional. Then we talk about what we experienced and then hike back to our vehicles. Currently held in various locations in Mesa County in Colorado, selected Saturdays, led by Rev. Roger Wolsey who originally started this ministry in Boulder, CO in 2014.
WHAT: A series of contemplative outings on the Mesas and in the Canyons surrounding Fruita & Grand Junction, CO. We’ll invite brief moments of setting intention, contemplative reflection, and various rituals including communion. Ideally, you’ll be able to walk 3-4 miles at this elevation — up to 1-2 miles in, and 1-2 miles out, depending on the week.
We walk on a variety of trails – sometimes involving loose, unstable soil and rocks, so if you are prone to rolling your ankles, this may not be for you! Children are welcome as long as they can keep up with the group on the hike, be silent on the hike to our destination, and silent during the contemplative sit. We don’t require silence on the hike back.
WHEN: Saturday mornings as posted on Facebook as events. We meet at *7:45 AM* at the parking spots in front of Fruita United Methodist Church at 405 E. Aspen Ave (“Main Street”) and then we hand out maps to the chosen trailhead of the week. We depart from the church at 7:50 AM SHARP.
We typically arrive at the trailheads just a little after 8AM. We then gather at the trailhead and set our intentions together as a group and head off on our group hike.
Each trip has us meeting in front of the church building and then ride-sharing/car-pooling an approx. 15-20 min drive to a trailhead; followed by a 1-1.5 hour experience out in nature (including hike in & out). If done in a group, folks might consider going out for lunch/coffee afterward to share more about the experience and to make new friends! (Bring a mask if sharing a ride, and if you want to join us at a coffee shop or some place to eat a meal afterward)
WHY: “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~ John Muir
“Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” ~ Luke 5:16
If you relate to these things – then this is for YOU! : )
Check the weather before you come – if it’s horrible, it’ll be cancelled that week. Check this Facebook Page! Bring good shoes/boots, a filled water bottle, jacket, brimmed hat, gloves, sunglasses, extra layers of clothing as needed, and perhaps and camera and/or binoculars. Hosted by Rev. Roger Wolsey and experienced outdoors enthusiasts. We operate from the spiritual/theological lens of “open” Christianity and Creation spirituality – but we’ll let Nature do most of the talking. : )
Try it. You’ll like it!
Blessings to us all as we make the effort to unplug from our conventional lives and to intentionally connect with our real home – the Earth, which is part of “the One in Whom we live, and move, and have our being.”
~ Pastor Roger
p.s. As the facilitator, I bring a backpack that included a first aid kit; squares of bubble packing for people to use a butt pads for sitting on the ground; some dried clay and a bowl to create a mud for people to put on themselves as part of reconnecting to their animal/natural self; communion bread and grape juice; and earth-based readings from various sacred texts around the world.
I offer a few “ritual stations” that are completely optional for people to consider partaking in. Toward the end of each “sit” out in nature, I guide the brief (totally optional) rituals and invite people to share about what they noticed and experienced during their sit.
See also the Nature Church Facebook page!
**FREE!** If you feel so moved and inspired, donations are welcome and can be made via Paypal