Our forthcoming and recent outdoor gatherings are listed here. Pick your poison!
Many of us find ourselves close to God, as we spend time outdoors. We love the created world, the seasons, even the weather! Before there were churches, and special buildings, people (including Jesus and some of the early missionaries like St Paul) would gather at rivers, lakesides, mountain tops, and lush valleys. Altars were established in the desert, marking places where people experienced God. Our ancestors setup stone circles to make the seasons. We too find God, in nature, but we also love the rhythms of nature, the mind freeing nature of open spaces, panaoramic views and big skies,. We value the cocooning effect of a woodland, the sound of breaking waves on a shore, or water gently lapping on a lakeside. Each in their own way, help us relax, focus, meditate, wonder and exercise both thoughts, body and spirit.
Many people find that intimate conversations are easier, when you are walking side by side. The disciples on the road to Emmaus had a lengthy conversation with the risen Jesus, while at the same time not realising who he was. This balance of intimate, and distance, is helpful for us. In a group there is an easy opportunity for multiple conversations such as this, so over the walk we get to know several people more deeply. We also share an experience, a sense of achievement, a memory, which helps bond us together.
Medical professionals often diagnose exercise to people, not just for weight loss, but also for their mental health. For those of us who have endured lockdown, we have come to realise what a lifeline a daily walk can be. We know, fullness of life, means a healthy mind, body and spirit, and it seems to us, gathering outdoors enables all three.