a Wild Church for Edmonton
A "wild church" is a congregation that primarily meets outdoors, in order to help people root spiritually in their place, the environment around them. Recognizing our increasing disconnection from nature, it is a spiritual response to the eco-stewardship, the climate crisis, and reconciliation for indigenous people and settlers.
Rio Terrace Church is in the process of developing a gathering - a wild church - to become stewards for and disciples of the North Saskatchewan Watershed, from its source in the Rocky Mountains, to the Beaver Hills, east of Edmonton.
Advent, Christmas, Epiphany 2020-21
Please note that these gatherings will be suitable for all ages, and designed with children in mind.
All gatherings are held outdoors, and, in many cases, washrooms are not available. Plan ahead.
You are always welcome to explore the area on your own before or after the program. Consider bringing a thermos of hot chocolate and a snack. Sadly, we are not invited to share our food during the pandemic.
We will adhere to Alberta physical distancing guidelines, including limits on group sizes (currently 10). If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with Covid-19, or have traveled outside of the country within 14 days prior to the event, you are asked not to attend. Registration is required for contact-tracing and group-size limiting purposes. Please contact Rev. James Lavoy, at church[at]rioterracechurch.org, with questions or concerns.
December 6, 2020, 11:30 am
Location: Poyser Park, next to Rio Terrace Church
15108 76 Ave NW, Edmonton
During Advent, the season of preparation, we will engage in some outdoor meditation, and make wreathes or door swags using foraged items.
Approximately 1 Hour, with a flat, snowy surface. Snowpants and snowboots are encouraged.
December 20 - Solstice / Christmas
Meet: Laurier Park, Zoo Parking Area. 13222 Buena Vista Rd NW, Edmonton.
At the winter solstice, near Christmas, the nights are very long. We will take a walk along the River, explore themes of light and dark, and make bird seed ornaments to be hung in outdoor trees on the Solstice.
Approximately 1.5 hours, with a flat, possibly icy surface. Snow boots are encouraged.
January 10 - New Year
Meet: Patricia Ravine (Top of Stairs), 7103 156 St NW, Edmonton
At the New Year, we draw "watchwords," a Moravian tradition of selecting a text to guide you through the year, and we will explore the Patricia Ravine in a contemplative way, considering our watchword, and what nature will show us - looking forward to 2021.
Approximately 1 hours. Mostly flat surface, although 80 stairs (down, then up) are involved. Possibly icy surface. Snow boots and pants are encouraged.
January 24 - Spirituality in Urban Nature / Presence in Place (Winter)
Meet: RTC Parking Lot, 15108 76 Ave NW, Edmonton
Today, at Rio Terrace Church's anniversary, we will explore what it means to be spiritually present in a place by exploring the natural world of the neighbourhood. Mostly flat surface, likely icy conditions. Warm shoes with a traction device (crampons) is encouraged.
February 14 - Transfiguration / Life in Perspective
Meet: Battery Creek Trailhead, Devon. (Just North of Peace Cemetery, Devon, AB.)
On Transfiguration day, we will remember the story of Jesus and his disciples climbing to a high place, by going to a high place ourselves. The Battery Creek Trail will be an easy, flat, contemplative walk with extraordinary views - and the highest vantage point of the River Valley in the region. We will consider the perspective - literal and figurative - that nature offers us spiritually. Snow boots and pants are encouraged.
Please note: unless otherwise noted, Wild Church gatherings are free gifts for you to explore your spirituality in nature. However, there is a cost associated with developing and running these programs. Please consider supporting Wild Church financially.