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Is It Your Time to Add to the Wild Church Network?

My Call Came Like This ...

I am one of those people who, for most of 50 years, had said, “I don’t go to church; my church is in the woods, the mountains, the rivers.” Which was good and true. And then I spent six years learning the ways of “wall church,” as I sometimes call it, training to be a priest and pastor. I knew my calling was to reconnect Church and Nature. It had not occurred to me, though, to start a church for people like me—people who encounter God in the woods yet also long for human community with its ancient ritual and wisdom. To create a Church of the Woods—and to join with others to spread the idea of Wild Church across the land. To see the whole world again as sacred ground. What I always knew is that I wanted a piece of woods to call my own, to work and play in, take care of, to love and be loved. Kelly, my wife, wanted to build a snug, perfectly designed little house. Friends up the road showed us this piece of land that was perfect for both, but the price was beyond us. Then I was called, and I quit my job to go to&n …

​Stephen Blackmer

Stephen Blackmer is a conservationist and forest ecologist who took time out for “Rewiring My Brain” (40) and became an Episcopal priest. He is the founder of Church of the Woods, a church rooted in the faith and practices of Jesus and Francis of Assisi that meets in the woods year-round. He is also director of Kairos Earth, which seeks to renew an understanding of the natural world as a bearer of the sacred, and to restore this awareness as a foundation of both religious practice and practical action to conserve the earth.

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