Andy Goldsworthy wrote: “We often forget that we are nature. Nature isn’t something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve really lost connection to ourselves.” This is the main goal of a wilderness church, to reconnect with ourselves, and with God, by reconnecting with nature.
A Wilderness Church Reawakens the Sense of the Divine, by Reawakening the Sense of the Created.
In our contemporary era, we often forget that we are a microcosm. Everything that exists in the universe also exists within us on a smaller scale. Although we are divine, we are also material — created from the earth, and infused with Divine Fire. We must not flee from nature, for when we do, we flee from ourselves. Instead we must embrace the creation, and find communion with it — for it is through the creation that we come to meet the Creator. It is through creation that we gain an understanding of the world that resides within us.
What is a Wilderness Church?
A wilderness church can mean many different things depending on who you are speaking with. In its essence however, it is a church that gathers to worship God in natural surroundings. Wilderness churches vary across denominations in their expression of worship, organization, doctrine, and theology. But where they agree is in their love for God’s creation and in their desire to find greater communion with the natural world.
The Rewild Church Approach to Wilderness Church
Rewild Church is a wilderness church that seeks to awaken communion with the Creator through the creation. The emphasis of Rewild Church is spiritual ecology, which is an acknowledgement of the interconnection of humanity, God,and nature. Throughout Christian history, theology has often tended to either over-emphasize the material world or the spiritual world. But both extremes end in a short-sighted view of humanity, the environment, and God. At Rewild Church, it is our desire to educate people on the proper balance of the two,divinity and materiality. A both/and approach.
Humans are both matter and spirit. They are a hypostatic union of matter and divinity. In other words, humans aren’t part matter – part spirit, they are wholly matter and wholly spirit. God formed man out of the earth and breathed the Divine breath into mankind’s being. It is therefore unnatural for humans to be outside the body and outside this earth. Our truest destiny is to dwell within our glorified bodies, in a glorified earth. The incarnation of Jesus not only demonstrated the dignity of our material bodies, but their future glorification as well. For Christ forever united the Divine nature to the material world in His person. It was with that body that He wrought our salvation. It was with that body that He rose from the dead and ascended to the Father.
What do you do at a wilderness church?
At Rewild Church in New Jersey we spend as much time as possible in fellowship with nature, and with one another in God’s Creation. Rain or shine, we gather in the wilderness to pray, worship, learn, meditate, and uphold one another. Church in the wild is different than church in buildings for many reasons. For starters, its far less scripted. We don’t follow detailed plans nor a particular model for what church should look like. Sermons are rare, and we usually have open discussions instead. Also, wilderness churches tend to be more interactive and experiential as we learn from our surrounding environment, and from one another.
Where can I find a wilderness church?
The wilderness church movement is growing quickly. Rewild Church is located in New Jersey and gathers in wild spaces throughout the state. To find out more about experiencing one of our wilderness worship or educational gatherings, please check our calendar or our Facebook page.
If you are not located in New Jersey and wish to find a wilderness church near you, please check the Wild Church Network page. NOTE: We are not affiliated with the churches listed in the Wild Church Network, nor do we necessarily endorse the theology or doctrine of the churches listed.
Join us as we strive to create a more peaceful world as we seek to meet the Creator, through the creation. Strive with us to develop an authentic Trinitarian communion, as we honor our God, demonstrate love to one another, and show compassion upon all of nature.
Holy Wild Walks and Gatherings take place in Pittstown, NJ and in various other locations throughout Hunterdon County New Jersey.