Fellows in the News

IT’S 18 DEGREES outside, the sun has barely risen, and the subsidiary roads are swollen with ice. Time to attend the Church of the Woods, of course!

The Church’s pastor, Rev. Stephen Blackmer, gave up a big-deal career in environmental organizing— he was the founder and chairman of the Northern Forest Alliance, which helped conserve several million acres of New England timberlands — to get ordained and start his own Episcopal church. Here it is, a tiny little woodshed with a pot-belly stove, eight plastic chairs, and an altar covered with birch back scrolls, pine cones, and some blanched antlers scavenged from the adjoining hemlock forest.

I daresay this is a church unlike any other. “We are deliberately trying to crack open what it means to be ‘church,’” Blackmer explains on his website. “The Church of the Woods is a place where the earth itself, rather than a building, is the bearer of sacredness; where people come together to learn, explore, and take action to transform themselves and renew the earth.”

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