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Wild Church Weekend

April 19, 6:00 PM8:00 PM

Choosing mission over maintenance, First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ,
Waterville, is finding vitality through selling the building to focus on the church beyond walls. We have
a heart for creation care and the community, so we are inviting people of all faith traditions and no
tradition to celebrate Earth Day with a weekend of spiritual activities.

Wild Church Weekend is an intrafaith retreat designed like a potluck. Bring the gift of who you are and
sample any and all of what is offered.The core of the retreat takes place Friday evening and
Saturday. Registration is needed for these activities in order to coordinate and communicate, simply
email WatervilleUCC@gmail.com to let us know you are coming. The cost for this retreat is a
minimum $25 donation to the Essentials Closet, a ministry of the congregation providing free cleaning
and hygiene items to anyone who needs them. This is on the honor system and no one will be turned
away for not donating.

Our Friday gathering will be a spiritual potluck. We will create a safe space for sharing stories from
our personal journeys as a way of exploring our kinship with each other and with our
other-than-human kin. We will discuss Wild Church as an alternative to traditional institutional
religious expressions.

Saturday morning will be a field trip. Two specific practices will be shared. Birdsong Sitting Meditation
is a method of both centering and expanding our awareness in a natural setting. Rev. Ian Lynch developed
this practice, combining his passions for birds and spirituality. By identifying the birds we
hear while sitting, we can begin to feel both our smallness in the great expanse of the world and our
intimate connection with it.

Lectio Terra is a variation of the traditional practice of Lectio Divina, a meditative way of engaging
holy texts. This adaptation, created by the BTS Center, includes the land as another voice in that

Saturday afternoon will be spent back at our worship space at 21 College Avenue. We will share a
potluck lunch, then view the annual United Church of Christ Earth Day Summit with keynote speaker,
Bill McKibben. After that we will conclude by sharing what gifts we have received from our time

Additional offerings through the rest of the weekend include a possible screening of the film,
“Common Ground” Saturday evening, then on Sunday, all are invited, as always, to the weekly
worship service and then encouraged to attend the Waterville Creates community art build at the
Shupf Center on Main Street.

If you have questions, please contact Rev. Ian Lynch, revianlynch@gmail.com (440)296-3116


Tentative Schedule

Friday evening

  • [6-8]: Spiritual potluck gathering ritual lifting up the gifts of the participants and discussion of institutional religion deconstruction imagining a Wild Church alternative

Saturday morning

  • [8-10]: Field experience rituals of Birdsong Sitting Meditation and Lectio Terra
  • [10-12] Invitation to individual or group exploration of natural space

Saturday afternoon

  • [12-1] Potluck lunch
  • [1-2] UCC Annual Earth Summit (via Zoom)
  • [2-4] Learnings, take-aways, and closing ritual

Saturday evening

  • [6-8] Screening of "Common Ground"

Sunday morning

  • [9:30-11] Worship and coffee fellowship

Sunday afternoon

  • [12-3] Invitation to participate in Waterville Creates Community Art Build


April 19
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
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