Many of us feel closest to God in nature. Some of our most profound spiritual experiences take place in nature. Meanwhile the Clemson area is full of places that are, to put it simply, awesome.

Peace Church has decided to do something about this. On the Second Sunday of every month, we have an experience that incorporates the natural world. Our intention is not to simply have an outing, but to provide a framework that is spiritual. Meanwhile, we also want it to be relaxed and enjoyable.

To date Second Sundays have seen us sitting at the foot of waterfalls, floating in kayaks on Lake Jocassee, riding bikes on the Doodle Trail, and experiencing a Japanese Tea Ceremony in the SC Botanical Gardens. Spiritual components have included silence, quiet walking, doodling with chalk, writing haiku, being saged. We have included Native American Spirituality, Celtic Spirituality, and a Zen experience. We are not sure where future ones will lead, but always there is the integrating of the spiritual with God’s creation.

As we generate plans, there are three current rules: No preaching, no lecture, and no singing.

Information about upcoming experiences can be found at:

http://www.meetup.com/Clemson-PeaceOutdoors- Meetup/

Past Experiences:

(Specific Spiritual Focus often develops as the experience gets closer.)

The Botanical Gardens, Meditative Walking, & a Japanese Tea Ceremony

Lake Kayak and Native American Spirituality

Station Cove Falls & Biblical Stelas while remember September 11

After the election, we felt the need to breath.  We walked a trail on the edge of Issaqueena Lake, shared Psalms, and breathed.

In December a walk through pine trees included a reflection on an passage from the Bible called “The Peaceable Kingdom” and decorating a tree with birdseed ornaments, popcorn, and cranberries–a tree for the birds.

2 Labyrinths–one we created on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens and one which was in the woods.

The poetry of Maya Angelou while sitting around a fire on the  shores of Issaqueena Lake.

A bicycle ride on the Rabbit Trail and an experience of the sacred feminine.

We climbed up to a Pinnacle Mountain overlook in order to see a rock shelf full of ancient Petroglyphs and an experience with early expressions of the spiritual.

A hike to Yellow Branch Falls and an experience on “freedom.”

A walk through a stream bed thinking about “Ripples” and the work of “Annie Dillard” author of “Tinker at Pilgrim Creek.

A cemetery walk into the woods to a “forgotten” cemetery and “remembrance”

Upcoming Experiences:

Thinking about November–fall birds (ducks, Turkeys):  Two very different walks are being considered.  One is Turkey oriented in the hopes of an encounter with wild turkeys.  The other would lead down into a marsh area where there might be ducks.  Each of these are in areas that are part of Clemson University experimental forest.

December:  Pine Cones and the Scents of Christmas:  We will walk down Seed Orchard Road looking for pine cones to a fire pit on the shores of Seneca Lake.  At the fire pit will be the more formal part of the gathering.  The theme, lifting up “scents” of the season, thinking pine cones, cinnamon while enjoying a fire, warm cider.

Winter 2018–Peace Church will be taking a break from 2nd Sundays for the winter season.

Many dates to be decided, in the works are the following:

May 2018–A lake experience

Birds

Henry David Thoreau & The Broad River–Postponed to late spring/early summer 2017 due to the river being too low.

Seeds & Spirits (an apple orchard experience) has been postponed to September or October of 2018.  We postponed due to heavy rain.