What are you up to on Sunday mornings? Are you pretending to attend traditional church? Would you rather be on the water or on the trail, maybe with others, maybe alone?
The Christian community has worried for millennia that being in nature and celebrating the beauty of natured is somehow a threat to the institution known as church. It's okay on a Saturday afternoon, but you must be inside on Sunday at 11:00am. I have grown up thinking of terms like Naturalist or Unitarian Universalist as bad words that would harm me and the faithful at "First Church." Maybe I was wrong to be fearful. This is not a theological exposition on what is right or wrong, creedal, or confessional. This is simply an attempt to be more creative about how we do things going forward.
For some, another threat to church survival: natural beauty
This is a great article that threatens the very fabric of the church, but it does not have to be considered a threat. Should we be fighting for Sunday morning protection in the ways that we have done so previously?
A few thoughts:
God is not going anywhere.
Jesus is in a resurrected state on Sunday mornings, but also Tuesday nights and Friday at the middle of the day. Maybe the church should be more creative about when and how it gathers.
Maybe we should be training leaders for a new church that looks decidedly different then the one that formed us. This is tough work with a new template. Who will be the leaders in this new form of church? Can generations work together? If the spiritual connection is to nature then we need to meet the people there. Read the New Testament, Jesus is teaching almost exclusively in relationship to outdoor themes. Can we do the same?