WitW Info

About Worship in the Wilderness

Briefly stated, Worship in the Wilderness (WitW) is liturgical hiking. WitW began in the spring of 2008 as an idea and an experiment to meld two of my great passions – the great outdoors and the great mysteries/truths of the Holy. More fully, small groups of sojourners gather together to hike and to “do church” while experiencing some of the most beautiful of God's creations in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. We have hiked in every month of the year and in almost all kinds of weather – nothing equals the Holy attentiveness which challenging weather can elicit in us while in the wilderness.

For me, being in nature is the way in which I most easily connect with the Holy. What I have come to know for myself, as I believe my fellow hikers have as well, is that liturgical hiking is one of the most profound and yet simple ways to experience God's continual presence in our lives while being purposeful about our offering of praise and thanksgiving back to the Holy. At its heart, any good liturgy strives for this outcome and humankind has attempted to craft such liturgies since time immemorial.

We begin each WitW liturgy with a suitable Collect at the trailhead and then stop periodically to read a lesson from the Bible along the way. As we hike along between stops we share our various perspectives on the lesson, as well as other trail talk. Generally we read the same lesson three times, which offers the opportunity to hear a given lesson more expansively in light of what we’ve heard and experienced since its previous reading back down the trail. We then stop for a longer time, a lunch or snack break, where we share more fully our understanding of the reading in a shared reflection. Often the wisdom and grace of our various perspectives astounds us. We then offer prayers of the people and share eucharist. Importantly, each liturgy is offered within the context of the peace (the passing of the peace) in that while hiking along we have the opportunity not only to greet one another as holy beings but to get to know one another more fully than we might during the course of a pew based liturgy.

Please join us as the Spirit moves you and experience the Holy in what may be an entirely new and fresh way.

Blessings and be in touch,

The Rev. Jon R. Anderson



Monday, July 6, 2009

WitW Consulting

Recently I have had a couple of inquires about my willingness to travel to other parts of the country to lead liturgical hikes and/or to assist in the formation of other Worship in the Wilderness groups. I would be honored to do either or both of these things and would ask that you be in touch via e-mail so that we can plan together.