In early April, Rev. Miranda and Carrie met with ChurchLands leader Nurya Love Parish over Zoom to discuss how we might think about using our grounds in new ways in light of changed circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. (NOTE: If you’re not already familiar with the ChurchLands program, please take a moment to go read this page!)
We noted that many people – both members and non-members – experience our church grounds as holy space and use them accordingly. That led us to some interesting and hopeful questions. How might we be more intentional about inviting members and friends to use our grounds as a place of pilgrimage and prayer, in the months ahead when there may be somewhat more freedom of movement but gatherings are still limited? When we begin to gather again, how might our grounds be a tool for gathering in holy space, when people may not yet feel comfortable coming into the enclosed space of the church building? Might our present circumstances lead us to some experimentation with a long-held desire at St. Dunstan’s for more outdoor, or indoor/outdoor, worship?
Could hands-on outdoor projects be a way to work together as a church (even if we come and work at separate times) this spring and summer – and if so, what projects would serve the possibilities listed above? (More visible and accessible paths to the Pine Island altar and labyrinth? More wayfinding in the woods?…)
As Nurya said, Our grounds offer many kinds of possibilities and opportunities. How might this treasured resource take on new purpose and new value for us in this season?