Our Holy Hikes were recently featured in RISEN Magazine, which is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. Holy Hiking is a great activity that helps us experience the natural world and connect with God’s Creation. You can click here to READ MORE about our Holy Hikes.
Holy moments happen outside on Saturday afternoons as well as inside on Sunday mornings for parishioners at Epiphany, Rumford.
The Outdoor moments are part of “Holy Hiking” a summer and fall monthly time of fellowship and worship in forests and parks, on beaches and in nature preserves. It includes about an hour of hiking, incorporating an informal celebration of Eucharist.
“We offer a time for worship and prayer together, while doing something we love outside with our kids, families and even our dogs,” said Rev. Jennifer Zogg, rector. “Nature is where we often find joy and God, and we wanted to embrace and honor that.”
The program, started in 2016, averages about 18 to 20 people per hike Colt State Park in Bristol, Fort Barton Woods in Tiverton, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown and trails around a reservoir near the church.
The hikes have attracted long-time Epiphany members and new members, families and single people. Some bring their pets. One constant is that people want to talk to each other – tell a story, ask a question.
“The beauty of doing this outside is that we can try different formats,” Zogg noted. “We started with a silent meditation walk, but we learned quickly that this space we were holding for folks to have those conversations. They were holy moments.”
During one hike, Zogg divided the liturgy into eight parts, read by hikers, similar to a Stations of the Cross Liturgy. “Then, when we got to the beach, we spread a blanket, said the Eucharistic prayer, and passed around bread and wine,” she said.
When Eucharist finished, Zogg asks “Where did you see God today?” Answers have ranged from listening for birds to climbing on rocks, or just watching kids play and rejoice.
One week, the hikers decorated two rocks with one-word prayers, such as “peace” or “hope,” took one home and brought the other to church the next day.
“I asked them to put the rocks on our altar rail and told the congregation the rocks were from the Holy Hike, offering prayers,” Zogg explained. “I invited people to take one home that spoke to them. By the end of the service, the rocks were all gone. It connected what we had done in God’s creation to what we do in the building.”
Follow our newsletter for more information regarding dates and location for our holy hikes. You may also contact Reverend Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.