The Psalms speak of all of creation praising God. The Forest Church movement joins that choir of praise by worshipping outdoors. Wendy Janzen, a pastor for missions and youth ministry at St. Jacob’s Mennonite Church, St. Jacobs, Ontario, has been exploring Forest Church for a bit over a year. She writes:
“I came across the concept of Forest Church during a sabbatical in the fall of 2014. I have now led St. Jacobs Mennonite Church in one Forest Church service and in several outdoor nature sessions for the junior Sunday school children. I am also working on organizing regular, monthly Forest Church services with friends and neighbours in my community who are a mix of church types together with those on the margins of church or who are post-church. It is amazing how gathering together in nature to experience God’s presence is less threatening than entering a building.
“This group is just in its infancy—we had our first meeting on March 6th. But I am excited and encouraged by the amount of interest this is generating. I am also curious to see what this might become with time. Will it remain simply a monthly gathering, or might it grow into its own form of Christian faith community?”
Are you aware of anyone else in the Mennonite world who is doing anything similar? Wendy would like to connect with others who also see creation as a revelation of God worth exploring more deeply during worship. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.