Sacred Saunter

Beginning in the Spring of 2022, Sacred Saunters will be rotating throughout the Semper Virens deanery, which means the location will vary each month. We will gather at 11 AM on the first Saturday of the month at various locations with different parishes hosting the service. See our schedule below.

Sacred Saunters in Semper Virens Deanery 2022

October 1 – Sacred Saunter hosted by Christ Church Eureka (Sequoia Park in Eureka)

November 5 – Sacred Saunter hosted by St. Francis in Fortuna (Location TBD)

December 3 – Sacred Saunter hosted by Christ Church Eureka (Location TBD)

Sacred Saunter hosted by St. Alban’s Arcata at the Arcata Marsh, celebrating the Feast Day of St. Phoebe (September 3, 2022)

Sacred Saunter hosted by St. Francis Fortuna at Cheatham Grove in Carlotta CA, celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6, 2022)

Sauntering with Mother Eva Lee Matthews at Sequoia Park (Saturday July 2, 2022) hosted by Christ Church Eureka

The first deanery Sacred Saunter led by St. Alban’s in Arcata’s Redwood Park. Members from three parishes gathered to celebrate the Feast of Pope John XXIII and the refreshing spirit of “aggiornamento” (Saturday June 4, 2022) hosted by St. Alban’s Arcata

Training of Sacred Saunter leaders of the Sempervirens Deanery at Deacon Anne’s lovely home (Saturday May 14)

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“People ought to saunter – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these [trees] are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”- John Muir

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On select Saturdays, we celebrate an outdoor Eucharist at Sequoia Park in Eureka CA while sauntering through the redwood trees. We gather at the park entrance for opening prayer and then saunter to a beloved sequoia tree that we affectionately call “the gargoyle tree” because of its delightfully gnarled burls. We then pray a Psalm together by a trickling waterfall. From there, we proceed to a nearby bench for the reading of the Gospel and a brief devotional reflection. We then gather around a fountain by a duck pond for the Prayers of the People and the Passing of the Peace. Finally, we slowly ascend a small hill to arrive at a meadow, where we form a circle around a redwood tree trunk altar to sing and celebrate Eucharist.

We hold Sacred Saunters on select Saturdays throughout the year, including a Saturday close to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4).

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We look forward to sauntering with you!

Read a local newspaper article about Sacred Saunter here

Read about or listen to the origins of Sacred Saunter here

Read or listen to a sermon on Spiritual Arborescene here

Download Sacred Saunter worship bulletin here: Sacred Saunter Worship Program

For questions regarding Sacred Saunter, contact the Rev. Dr. Daniel London by calling 707-442-1797 or emailing christchurcheureka@gmail.com.

Read past reflections shared at Sacred Saunters

August 2021 Sacred Saunters

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Eastertide 2021 Sacred Saunters

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2020 Sacred Saunters

August 2019 Sacred Saunters

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Lent and Holy Week 2019 Sacred Saunters

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Like John Muir, we appreciate the term “saunter” as it invites us to walk more slowly and mindfully and to bathe in the forest trees’ ancient and verdant light. Although some have called our church building the “Cathedral of the North Coast,” it is only when we gather for Sacred Saunter services at Sequoia Park that we feel we are in the true Cathedral of the North Coast. Nature mystics such as St. Francis, Teilhard de Chardin, Mary Oliver, and the Celtic Saints have been our favorite guides so far as we glorify God among the giant sequoia trees.

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The Sacred Saunter community is a proud member of the Wild Church Network

Watch an experimental virtual Sacred Saunter here: https://www.facebook.com/ChristChurchEureka/videos/325596368561902

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