Rev. WENDY JANZEN, Mennonite Pastor. Burning Bush is a small, experimental worshipping group; individuals who have found ourselves longing for connection with the Divine spirit in the natural world. We come to nurture our spirits and tend our souls. We come to reconnect with our wild home, our watershed, and the community of creation. We come to find others who are on similar spiritual paths. We come to experience silence, and beauty, and contemplation.
Burning Bush Forest Church Website
Burning Bush Facebook Page
Burning Bush Instagram
WHERE DO YOU USUALLY GATHER? We meet in urban forested parks, mostly at one in particular, but we do occasionally gather at other locations as well. Our regular gathering place is on the banks of Laurel Creek, in a mostly deciduous forest (maple, beech, oak, cherry, willow, hemlock...). Some of the creatures who call this place home are ducks, geese, chickadees, beaver, deer, and rabbits. We chose this place because it is a beautiful natural sanctuary within our city that is easy for people to get to by car, bike, or public transportation.
WHAT IS YOUR CLIMATE LIKE? We are in a northern climate, with four distinct seasons. Both summer and winter present certain challenges - in the summer there is the heat and humidity, threat of thunderstorms, and insects like deer ticks (that can carry Lyme disease) that we need to be aware of. In the winter we contend with cold temperatures and potentially icy/snowy ground conditions.
WHO ARE THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE displaced by settlers in your bio-region? The original peoples who lived here and cared for the land were Haudenesaune, Anishnabe, and Neutral. The story of how the land was taken from them is is too complex a question to do justice to with a brief answer! We recognize and name their place in the story of the land where we gather, and the need for reconciliation.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GATHER? Monthly on Sunday afternoons
HOW MANY USUALLY GATHER WITH YOU? Usually between 12 and 25, and about a quarter of them are often visitors
CLIMATE/ECOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES: Community-based sustainability actions such as hosting an outdoor public prayer service in conjunction with the global climate strike in September 2019. We also host book studies, and exploring ways to engage with the urban reforestation plan for the city.
IS YOUR WILD CHURCH ASSOCIATED WITH A DENOMINATION? We are affiliated with the Mennonite Church through a partnership with a local congregation which serves as a fiscal sponsor for us, and I am an ordained Mennonite pastor. We are rooted in the Christian tradition, and include readings from scripture in addition to poetry or other texts. We welcome everyone, no matter your faith background or experience with church. We are not focused on dogma or doctrine, but on faith experience, and hope that all will encounter the Divine as we gather.
WENDY'S LITURGIES AND Resources
Wild Church members can download and adapt any of Wendy's beautiful and poignant resources including:
Winter's Sacred Blessing Service
Hope and Lament Service
Awakening Hour Service
Holy Ground Eucharist
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