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Experiencing God in nature: Compass 92

Victoria Loorz shares how we can cultivate moments of divine connection in nature and how these moments led her and a whole lot of people into a church-based movement to enjoy, appreciate and connect with the Divine through reflecting and experiencing the natural world. It’s the wild side of church on this episode of Compass.

Victoria Loorz is a "wild church pastor," an "eco-spiritual director" and co-founder of several transformation-focused organizations focused on the integration of nature and spirituality. She is the author of Church of the Wild. 

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Episode Transcript

Ryan Dunn (00:02):

 

This is the Compass Podcast where we tune into the divine that's present in the everyday, including in our natural world. My name is Ryan Dunn, and this past weekend I did something I've not done in a while. I skipped the Sunday morning church thing, and my wife and I went for a hike. And while taking a break with my toes dangling in a cool pool of water next to a little waterfall here in little Tennessee, I felt a sense of appreciation and gave some words of thanks for all that was good in my world at that moment. Was that worship? Yeah. Albeit a small act of worship, but it was nonetheless a moment in which I expressed some thanks and praise for the good works of a creator. You've probably encountered moments like this too in this episode of Compass Victoria. Loorz shares how we can cultivate such moments and how these moments have led her and a whole bunch of people into a church based movement to enjoy, appreciate, and connect with the divine through reflecting and experiencing the natural world. It's the wild side of church on this episode of Compass.

 

New Speaker (01:11):

Now, Victoria Loorz is a wild church pastor. She's an eco-spiritual director and co-founder of several transformation focused organizations focused on the integration of nature and spirituality. So let's hear her story here on Compass.

Ryan Dunn (01:28):

Let's start with the macro of some of the things that you've been up to over the last few years. What is Church of the Wild?

Victoria Loorz (01:36):

Mmm. That's a great place to begin. So Church of the Wild was, is is kind of a, a work of the spirit, actually. When I first envisioned it, I thought it was just my own little crazy idea. But it was something that had been boiling up within me, you know, churning within me that our disconnection from the rest of the natural world has not only a, a huge impact on the way we treat the world, that is evidenced by the crisis that she's in mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but also impacts our spirituality and our, and our religious life. And and as I was holding those two, I was an associate pastor at the time, and every time I preached, I'd preach something about it. And every time I did that, I'd go deeper and deeper into, you know, our own sacred stories.

Victoria Loorz (02:29):

To see that this disconnection from, of our spirituality, from nature is something that is not, you know, laid out in our, in our sacred stories, in our scriptures. In fact, the more I looked into it, the more I had eyes that could see, shall we say that it's deeply woven into probably every religious foundation. But definitely I was finding within the Judeo Christian story that every single spiritual leader from both testaments were sent into the wilderness on purpose by God in these stories. And it was more than, you know, I used to preach as a, as a, a minister of what I call now an indoor church, <laugh>, <laugh>. I used, used to, I used to, you know, preach that those, those wilderness times were kind of like dark nights of the soul or something like that, you know, like yeah.

Victoria Loorz (03:26):

Testing times, trial times. And I have a totally different understanding of it now that, that there is some purpose. I was asking that question, What is the reason that that, that being drawn into the wilderness was so important for these leaders, every single one of 'em in different ways. But there's something foundational about the actual wilderness herself. Not just, you know, that they weren't around civilization mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but that they were drawn into relationship, into relationship with the wilderness, with the soil and the waters and the mountains and the, the fiery bushes. You know, that it was a, a relational the propositions used are very relational into relationship, kind of. Yes, they were locational about where it would happen, but it was also into relationship with the sacred. It wasn't just, you know, that's both into relationship with the actual waters and with the sacred voice there.

Ryan Dunn (04:28):

That is startling. Because so often when we look at those wilderness experiences, say, Jesus', 40 days in the wilderness before you started public ministry, we think of that in terms of isolation. Right? Right. Like part of the temptation, even we might call it isolation, but you're saying that that is actually just like a reframing of relationship with the

Victoria Loorz (04:49):

World. I'm saying that for sure, and I think that yeah, cool. Teachers are saying that we just haven't had the, the ears to hear it. And you know, if you, And so in my book, Church of the Wild, I go into that a little bit. And, and let me just give one example. Yeah, please. As as after I had started, I gonna answer your question by the way I get back, How can I remember that? Go back into, back and answer that second question. I'm really good at interrupting myself, <laugh>

Ryan Dunn (05:24):

Enjoying the club. Yeah, that's ok. That's what I'm here to, to keep you on task. So, okay. We'll get there.

Victoria Loorz (05:31):

I'm gonna answer the first question and then I'll, and then I, I wrote down so I won't forget where I wanna go. So, so after exploring this for a few years I started to realize the damage that was that we experienced, or the, the, you know, that there's a damaging effect of this, of this dislocation of our spirituality only being sort of like disembodied and not grounded. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and not in relationship with, with the rest of the, you know, what I call beloved community, You know, it's like the beloved community expands beyond our church and our race and our species, You know, we are the beloved community on this planet. So so I started in 2015. I just said, All right, I'm gonna just do this. I'm just gonna leave this indoor church. There's a group of people that gathered around me and said, We wanna do this thing you've been talking about.

Victoria Loorz (06:29):

Cause I was starting to explore what it would be like to, to do church in relationship with the rest of the natural world. And so it's not just doing what we do indoors only outside, like at Easter Sunday or something. It's really, it's a, it's a revisioning and a restoration of deep relationship with a sacred in relationship with our place. And recognizing, remembering, really it's remembering cause it's deep within us re remembering through spiritual practice that we belong to a, a greater, you know, beloved community. And we are in relationship with the, with the trees and the soil and the air and the wind and the, and the waters. And so how do we create and adapt old, old spiritual practices and liturgies so that we act as if that's true <laugh> and enact rituals and ceremonies and and community in this, in this more expanded way.

Victoria Loorz (07:34):

So for example, in a Church of the Wild about half of the service is people going out from the circle. We meet outside under trees or next to the creek or in a park or whatever. But we, we begin in a circle. And there's some kind of framing of prayer and sometimes singing. If you've got someone that can lead that and poetry and storytelling and a scripture maybe. And then there's an invitation to go out and wander or saunter as John Muir would say, and to listen and to allow yourself to be drawn to a particular other, you know, a particular place, a particular, you know, could be just the wind and lay down and look up at the clouds, but to, to then enter into, you know, sort of like a listening kind of reverent ex posture <laugh> for about 45 minutes.

Victoria Loorz (08:33):

And then come back together in community and share your experiences, share your insights, share what, what you noticed, what came up for you. And it's quite profound, you know, it doesn't need a lot of explanation. It's, it's trusting that God is in all things and that, that there is a sacred presence that this ground that we live on is holy ground. And there, and when we take that revent approach of listening that God has shared to show up. And so that, that was what we decided to call it Church of the Wild. And then after, and I thought I was a little bit, you know, just like, Ooh, I'm being a little bit her here <laugh>, but how so? But within, well, it's just like nobody else is, what is this? Within three months, I started to meet other pastors who were leaving their indoor churches and sort of on the side starting these exactly the same things that I was, I was doing. And within I think about nine months, there was a group of us and all of us were like, Wait, I thought I was the crazy one.

Ryan Dunn (09:40):

<Laugh>. But,

Victoria Loorz (09:41):

But that's when we recognize this is the work of the spirit, you know? Yeah. This is the work of something, some larger story that we're participating in versus something we're creating. And so that's, that's kind of what Church of the Wild is. There's a whole bunch of different expressions of it in the Wild Church Network, which we, which we ended up starting in 2016. There, there's people who are, there's communities that are led by, you know, peop different pastors from all kinds of different denominations. There's people that are, there's groups that are led by people who are not ordained but just feel like, I really want, I already experience the sacred presence in nature, and so I'm just gonna do this <laugh>. And we have about 2000 people who are starting or, or who have started wild churches within North America. And so it's definitely something that is an emerging expression of both Christian community and outside of, outside of the Christ tradition. In fact, most of the churches, the people that come are, are you know, maybe half from the Christ tradition and half not, It's like common ground is our, is our common ground <laugh>.

Ryan Dunn (11:03):

Yeah. In the literal sense. Yeah. Right.

Victoria Loorz (11:08):

So yeah,

Ryan Dunn (11:09):

You started that, that first expression of Church of the Wild. And then how almost is a new congregation, right? It was something of a, of a church plant. Is that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> fair to say? Okay. Yes. So yeah. How long was it between that, that initial expression and then the, the beginning of the network?

Victoria Loorz (11:31):

It was less than a year.

Ryan Dunn (11:33):

Okay.

Victoria Loorz (11:33):

Yeah. I was

Ryan Dunn (11:35):

Just, because as you started doing it, you were kind of getting overwhelmed from other people who wanted to be a part of it.

Victoria Loorz (11:42):

Not so much overwhelmed, I think more excited that this, like I just said, like that this is something bigger than just something that I think is a good idea. That this is actually a collaboration with, with Spirit, with God. And that that people were popping up all over the place with very different sort of influences. So it's not like we all read the same book and went, Hey, we're gonna do this. Which I think there's more people now, now that I have written this book, more <laugh> are saying, Oh my gosh, this is what I've been feeling within myself is, is possible. And now I see it's possible and I can do it. But at, at first, all of us were kind of like, Oh, I, I need to do this. I don't, I don't see anything else out there, but I need to do this. And that's kind of how movements go. You know, the first wave is people who are all over the place, not connected, but once you start connecting, you know, it's, it's the nature of emergence. Building, starting the network was just like for our own support. And, and eventually it became clear that this was the next phase of you know, a community of practice that was, that was emerging and continues to emerge.

Ryan Dunn (12:57):

Would you have considered yourself a hardcore nature person before you started Church of the Wild?

Victoria Loorz (13:04):

Not really. <Laugh>. Okay. And there are a lot of people that do, you know, I ask a question and a lot of the workshops that I do of, you know, tell me about the land, who raised you, you know, And, and people may not have ever thought about it in that way before mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but they immediately know, like, like instantly a tree or a little field or, or you know, running around playing in the woods immediately comes up for them. And for me, I grew up in in suburbs, you know, so yeah. So nature to me was the empty lot that hadn't been built yet, or the, you know, the rivers of, of, of long water going down the, the gutter where my rivers and I build dams with mud, you know? So it was, I never went camping until I graduated from high school, you know, it was not something that I grew up in at all.

Victoria Loorz (13:55):

And so I didn't see myself as a nature person. I really was drawn into this theologically <laugh>. My first job out of seminary was with a evangelical relief and development organization. And the whole year that I that I was pregnant when, like my second year working there, I wrote a kit for 50 thou that was sent to 50,000 evangelical churches called Let the Earth Be Glad. And so really it was just saying, you know what, this isn't a, a left wing agenda. This is like part of our responsibility. And I felt like I was theologically approaching it, like we're moving from like this idea of dominion relationship with the world to stewardship, you know? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> like it's responsibility. And what I feel now, cause that was 30 years ago, <laugh>, what I feel now is moving from stewardship into relationship because stewardship is still like that mentality of we are the ones at the top of the pyramid.

Victoria Loorz (14:55):

And it's, and yes, we've caused the most problem, and it is still our responsibility, but to think that we're gonna solve this on our own is that same kind of arrogance that got us into the problem in the first place. And so it's in relationship with our place and with the forests and the waters. And, and that sounds a little bit like difficult to comprehend, perhaps, but I think once we recognize that the re the natural, we are part of nature, you know, we aren't separate and we are built to be in relationship, in deep relationship. And once we surrender those, those limiting thoughts that have been embedded in our, in our society and even in our religion that we are separate from and, and dominant of over we start to recognize that this spirit of God speaks through other people speak through our own heart, speaks through other beings, and to think that they don't is a bit, is more of that arrogance. And so it's really our own posture of receptivity and openness relationship that that stake.

Ryan Dunn (16:05):

So was it that theological revelation then that really kind of pushed you into personally trying to experience the divine in nature? Or were there some experiences that you had within nature Yes. Where you were like, Oh, this is where the holy action is?

Victoria Loorz (16:20):

Yes. I mean, I think it's a bit of, you know, it all kind of weaves together. Oh,

Ryan Dunn (16:24):

Okay.

Victoria Loorz (16:25):

But as I was starting to pay attention you know, like <laugh> life collaborates with, with where we're being drawn spiritually I had hit burnout in, in the ministry, which is not uncommon mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. I had also in, so I had left I had left being a pastor for about seven years. I left going to church. I was just kind of like burnout on a lot of levels, but I didn't really like leave the tradition or anything. I didn't leave God, or it wasn't that, it was just sort of the institution mm-hmm. <Affirmative> reality of leading churches.

Ryan Dunn (17:02):

Is it like a professional break? Yeah. Right.

Victoria Loorz (17:05):

Yeah. And in that time I mean, I still had, I had issues, you know, we all have our issues, <laugh> but I wasn't there to like, resolve him. I was just like, I just need, I just can't do it right now. And in that time, I, my son who I was pregnant with when I was doing that, let the Earth Be Glad Thing was 12, and he saw Inconvenient Truth around climate change and was ignited. And long story short, basically he became kind of like Greta 20 years ago <laugh>. Okay. And so he pulled him outta school by seventh grade, and he was on the road, you know, know two weeks out of every month all through high school. So for six, six or seven years. And and we started a nonprofit called Kids Versus Global Warming <laugh> initially, and then it was called I Matter Youth.

Victoria Loorz (18:03):

And so we like sued this, it became my, my full-time job, you know? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> supporting him and did youth marches and suing the state and suing the government and all that kinda stuff. So there, so then that was another aspect of just learning the damage, you know, sort of that, that we've done as humans in this disconnected relationship. But that also led to burnout. And so in that place of burnout, both from the church and from the environmental movement I had sort of this experience of and I, and I would go to this oak tree near me near where I lived at the church actually, and I would just lay under her huge branches. It's like this little hidden space. And in that just surrender place of exhaustion is where I heard deep within myself. And I, it's not even words, but it was just like this recognition that keeping these parts of our collective reality separate is, is gonna always lead to burnout.

Victoria Loorz (19:10):

You know? It's like, it's not, it's not sustainable, it's not real. It's you know, there's some kind of resiliency that the, that we have as part of nature in adapting to change and survival and thriving in relationship and all that. That made me start to experience what I had been thinking about. And and then I had a, a really significant experience with a series of deer <laugh> in the lower Rocky Mountains right before I, right before I kind of put it together, that these need to be together. And it's kind of a long story, but basically three days in a row, three different mule deer who I had encountered invited me essentially to just lay down <laugh> like these three different mule deer or three days in a row, laid down like, you know, 15 feet in front of me to rest and invited me to just kind of sit there with them.

Victoria Loorz (20:17):

And it was like this super luminous experience of like amazing and wonderful <laugh>. And, and also just like I could feel the presence of God there. And it wasn't separate from the deer, it was in included in it. And so I started to have these kinds of experiences that were aligned with the theological kind of wondering that I was doing as I was doing these wanderings more and more in relationship with, with the natural world, until I finally said, You know what? I think we, I think, I think we need to experiment with this. And that's when, that's when I started.

Ryan Dunn (20:59):

And that sounds like a, a process of letting go in, in, in to go back to that macro view, really kind of being out in nature is an invitation to let go mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And you found a way to kind of make that a spiritual practice, I think, through the Yeah. Practice of what you have already referred to as Saing <laugh>. Yes. Can you tell us like, what does Saing look like as a spiritual practice? What is that?

Victoria Loorz (21:25):

Yes. Yes. So I can't say it in French cuz I don't, I'm, I can't speak the language, but <laugh> sure. Ing is a word. It's a French worth. That means that means like, shoot, I'm gonna, I'm gonna mess this up, but it basically means like a holy, a holy walk a walk to the holy lands, you know? And and there's something, and, and it's about like John O'Donahue says it's all about our the way, our approach, you know, when we choose to approach things with reverence, he says, Great things, decide to approach you <laugh>. And, and I found that, and, and it's really all about approach. So it's not, you know, you may have go on a, on a hike at a particular place all the time, and you love the place and it's beautiful, and you, you appreciate the, the beauty, but you're still sort of like on the outside appreciating, you know, and, and hiking to get somewhere.

Victoria Loorz (22:30):

You can still appreciate it, but you're sort of, you're sort of, you know, at a pace and your, and your focus is on getting to a place. Saing is slowing down, <laugh>, Saing is slowing down. And, you know, there's some, some practices like crossing a threshold, like beginning the trail, getting outta your car, leaving the, leaving the circle where, where you meet with intention and saying, you know, so it's like coming up to this threshold. Maybe it's a a stick in the middle of the pathway and just slowing down. And so what I'll do is I'll just go, You know what? I'm gonna slow down. I'm gonna cross this threshold with intention and be open to what sacred presence is here. Be open to the reality that this is holy ground. And, you know, some people are good at, they'll take off their shoes, you know, take off your shoes.

Victoria Loorz (23:23):

This is holy ground. You can't go fast when you got your shoes off. And with every step, you know, just one of the practices is introducing yourself, <laugh>, it's like, Hello Grass, I'm Victoria. You know? Hmm. Or it, but what I often do is, is a, is a praise and blessing, you know, It's like I'll see a squirrel and, and think inside my head, or sometimes if I'm alone, I don't say it out loud, just like, you know, blessings to you dear squirrel. You know, may you find all the food you need and be protected from the cars, and hear when the owls come by, Bless you owls, that you might find food for your babies. You know? And then there's, there's an interesting thing, you know, that our, and, and as you start to do that not just like experiencing the presence of, of the luminous presence, the reality that this world is holy, but also there's insights.

Victoria Loorz (24:21):

You know, it's like that owl needs to survive and that school needs to survive. And our whole world is built on a reality of predation, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it's like, in order for me to stay alive one day, I need other beings, whether it's a carrot or a squirrel to offer their lives to me. Like what a mysterious thing. And that, as I pondered that, that totally shifted communion practice for me. You know, the Eucharist idea of giving ourselves to one another, like literally as that's how life continues. And so, and so that, that's part of it. It's like, this is, you know, And, and another thing another practice that I developed, I call Terra Divina, and Terra Divina is something I took from Lectio Divina, which is an ancient monastic practice. It's now quite popular. And basically that's slowing down listening to those scripture.

Victoria Loorz (25:26):

You know, you tell one little passage three different times, and you tell it slowly. And in between each time that that passage is read, there's silence to to allow something to bubble up for you, you know? And then you share, like you, you read a passage the first time, there's silence, and everybody shares, you know, the passage, the, the thing that stuck up for me was how dusty the road was on the road to Amaya or something, you know? And everybody has like a something. And then you read it again slowly and there's more silence, and you allow, you know, are there memories or thoughts? Ors there something coming up for you, and you share that, and then it's read a third time. And the, and the invitation is, as this is read, the third time is, is this passage asking something of you and you listen again, and then you share again, maybe something's being asked of you.

Victoria Loorz (26:18):

And so it's using that same foundation in reading the sacred land, you know, And up until, what, 500 years ago or less? I think more like 200 years nature, the rest of the natural world was called the First Revelation of God as the, the scriptures or the second revelation. And, and there's all kinds of saints who have, who have stories and quotes that says, you know, I could, I could write all my sermons based on watching this caterpillar cross the room <laugh>. And so it's that invitation, it's that invitation into direct relationship with the sacred through you know, just as community is with one other, one another as humans, it's that same community beyond, beyond humans. And that shifts, that shifts our way of living, it shifts our spirituality, it shifts our commitment to our place. And so, like of all of the many you know, things that need to change within our culture to change our practice of using the rest of the natural world as a private resource <laugh> into actual reciprocal relationship, there's a lot of layers of that.

Victoria Loorz (27:39):

And we're not gonna be able to do all of that unless it's grounded in love rather than see her, you know? So, so this is really practices of falling in love, which is kind of the core and reconnection which is kind of the core of what religion is. And even the word religion means re again, Legos in Latin Legos is like a ligament. It means literally reconnection. So there's something about humans that need practices of reconnection to remind us that we belong, you know, in this, in this cycle of exile and return and exile and return, that we need these practices to bring us back into relationship. So that's really the core of it.

Ryan Dunn (28:26):

Do you find, as you look across the, the church of the Wild network are are congregations or participants or ministries seeking environmental justice as a, as a type of spiritual practice or as a way of, of getting in touch with the, the divine and the natural world?

Victoria Loorz (28:48):

Yes, absolutely. It's all connected, right? <Laugh>, everything is inter connected. Like we say that. And then we break it all down cuz we need, you know, it's easier to understand. It's, you can't do everything. And so there's nothing wrong with breaking it down as long as we remember that. That's like, just a way of entering in. It's not the reality. But all things are connected. And so a lot of the churches have ecological justice at the very core. You know, it's something that they will integrate in their in their, you know, weekly or monthly worship services is to, you know, sometimes it's activism, sometimes it's you know, like in the church in Bellingham, we went as a community every month and did something. You know, we'd join in with replanting trees around where the, where the salmon come. And we'd take that extra step of replanting trees, you know, as a nice service.

Victoria Loorz (29:47):

But to take each tree cuz you know, it's like, I call it in the book the courtship of the particular, we fall in love with particular others, you know, not just the world or I love dogs. Like you fall in love with one dog, <laugh>. Yeah. And through that you love all. But you know, so before you plant that tree, just bless that tree, you know, bless you sweet tree. May you, may you thrive and grow and get all that water and sunshine you need. That's it. But that establishes relationship, you know, it goes beyond stewardship, which is doing the right thing. You know, we need to take care of this land that we've cleared for agriculture and destroyed the habitat for the, for the salmon. That stewardship, it's important, but taking it into relationship is to say, this tree I have a relationship with, I'm gonna go back and visit that tree every year.

Victoria Loorz (30:40):

Or maybe I'll come and, you know, bring fertilizer and I'll be sure and visit that tree. You know, it's like to ground all of what we do in relationship makes it part of who we are versus a another thing we need to do. Cuz it's overwhelming. It really is in this time of, you know, sort of disillusion and and unraveling that's happening in our world. It's, it is overwhelming and we can shut down. But if we know that if we're acting in love, in relationship with, with these others that become kin, you know, that, that, that our indigenous brothers and sisters talk about the rest of the natural world as kin, you know, and the ecofeminist theologists call it the Kingdom of God. You know, I love that taking the g out, taking that old paradigm of monarchy and power over and turning into power with, you know, in a kind of God is where I feel like what we're, where we are right now, that is a foundation of ecological justice. And so it's both something intentional as well as something that happens naturally

Ryan Dunn (31:54):

That'll preach you. You were ordained <laugh> as an associate pastor a while ago, or expressing your ordination as an associate pastor for a while in the, since then you've talked about being ordained in the wild. Can you tell us like by the wild,

Victoria Loorz (32:11):

By

Ryan Dunn (32:11):

The wild, By the wild. All right. Okay. And tell us a little bit about that. Ordained by the wild.

Victoria Loorz (32:17):

Yeah. So I mean, ordination means the way, the way we practice it, you know, within the church is that, that it, it's like an acknowledgement of of a sacred vow. A commitment to serve, to serve the you know, to serve the church, to serve the people of God. This is a and, and that, and that calling comes from God, that calling comes from spirit, and that calling comes from the community. And that calling comes from, you know, like within a lot of Christian denominations. It comes from, you know, the bishops and the, and the, and the hierarchy basically. Historically not just present, but you know, there's something that starts back when Jesus called peter into service. You know will you, will you love my sheep? And, and so a wild ordination is, is the same thing.

Victoria Loorz (33:20):

It's saying that I've been called, that my calling comes from within, comes from my own inner authority with the way that I've made that I honor and trust that this sense of, of that I need to do this. I need to integrate my spirituality with the rest of the natural world. I need to integrate my lifestyle decisions with what is sustainable and resilient within the rest of the natural world. And that's often come from that particular, from that particularity in relationship with places with other beings within our, within where we live. And acknowledging that that, that this isn't something we're just making up, but this is a calling from spirit. And so it's making room for that possibility, you know? So wild ordination is saying yes to those callings and, and making that vow in a, in a sort of a ceremonial or ritual way with other with other people as well as with other beings, you know, with, with those others that have you know, that you've sensed that you've been called into service, not only for the church or for other people but for the whole but for the whole alive world.

Victoria Loorz (34:48):

Which is something that I think all of us, if we're honest and take the time, have been called into. So that's, that's kind of the foundation of it.

Ryan Dunn (35:00):

Well, thank you for sharing so much of your story and time with us and for folks who are looking to connect with you as a ordained leader in the movement and for other, well even to see where other expressions of, of Church of the Wild are, are present. Where's a good spot to go to?

Victoria Loorz (35:18):

Yeah, there's a couple one is the wildchurchnetwork.com and that's where you'll see a map and there's other churches that are starting up and there's resources there for starting your own, your own community. And then the Center for Wild Spirituality is connected with, with the Wild Church Network, and there is where we do training. So there's a, there's a wild church leadership training, there's a year long eco ministry certificate program. And there are, and then both of these organizations as well as others who are doing this kind of work there's a collaboration in creating a, a movement hub through Mighty Networks that should be that will be launched this winter. So there's the Center for Wild Spirituality, the, the URL for that is Wild Spirituality dot.

Ryan Dunn (36:10):

Well, again, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Victoria, and for giving us some ideas about how we can plug into our natural state of being and encountering the divine through that. Thank you.

Victoria Loorz (36:23):

Absolutely. Oh, and also my book <laugh>. You can use that online and Amazon or anywhere else. If you like to avoid Amazon, you can order it through any independent bookstore and it's called Church of the Wild. So thank you so much, Ryan. You

Ryan Dunn (36:39):

Bet.

Victoria Loorz (36:40):

It was fun spending time with you. Appreciate it.

Ryan Dunn (36:43):

Yeah, thanks, listener, for being a part of this. I'm ready to get into the outdoors. How about you? If you want to know more about the Compass Podcast, check out umc.org/compass. That's part of the website for the United Methodist Church who graciously resources this podcast. A couple other episodes that might interest you include integrating the Spiritual and Physical with Guest Lisa Colon DeLay that was released in May of 2022. Or you might wanna try Fitness and Resurrection with Erin Roesch from way back in May of 2020. And while you're checking out those episodes, hit the like or follow button or subscribe button. Thanks so much. We're back into new episode time now, so we'll have another fresh disruption for your day to day in two weeks. In the meantime, peace.