Finding God, self, and community in wild spaces. The better we know our wild neighbors the more we'll discover ourselves.
A vision informed by Henry David Thoreau’s interpretation of sauntering, Jesus’ understanding of neighbor, Aldo Leopold’s concept of thinking like a mountain, Rachel Carson’s prophetic voice and John Muir’s way of capturing the beauty and uniqueness of wild neighbors with words.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Gift of a Tree

At a recent Church Council meeting a member of the Trustees suggested the removal of the weeping cherry tree that's located on the front lawn of the church building. I said to the Church Council, "You know how I feel about cutting down healthy trees. I'll abstain from the vote and let you all decide." I also recall saying, "If you disagree with your pastor (me) on this, I will still love you."

A motion was made, it was seconded, and with a majority vote the tree's fate was sealed.

But that was not the end of the story. About one week later I was to visit with one of the members of Church Council. When I dropped by his house he handed me an envelope with a card in it. When I opened it here is what I found:

On the front of the card was a quote by John Muir that read, "The clearest way to into the universe is through a forest wilderness."

On the inside of the card it read, "Pastor Rich, In your honor a tree is being planted in a National Forest. Since I recommended removing the tree in front of the church I've made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation."

I remained faithful to my convictions to live into community with all that has life in Jesus' name; and while initially I did not get what I wanted, by the grace of God working through the kindness of that member of Church Council who felt bad about recommending the tree's removal something even better happened!

Remain faithful to your convictions; and even if you don’t get what you want, by the grace of God working through the kindness of others something even better might happen. All things are possible with God.





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