April 21, 6:15 am at Hay Lake Lodge and Cottages, Sunrise Easter Service with BBQ breakfast on the shore. Local “forest church” congregation, Cathedral of the Trees, a ministry of the Maynooth Madawaska Community of Faith of the United Church of Canada, celebrates Easter and Earth Day together this year, the same way they do every time they gather: by worshiping outside in communion with the Earth itself.
This church is also part of the Wild Church Network,that began less than 5 years ago when several pastors who had taken their congregations outside of buildings, serendipitously realized they were “not alone” as Christian leaders of outdoor churches. Wild Church Network is representative of an emerging phenomenon: outdoor church. Christians are concerned about the environment and seeking greater relationship with the living world they can see, feel, hear, taste, smell, touch, breathe, drink, nurture, and be nurtured by.
AllCreation.org, an online resource linking spiritual practices with environmental concerns, has released a new issue in honor of Earth Day, focused on these congregations, along with a virtual coffee-table book highlighting a couple dozen of the churches.