Awakening to the world of soul and the soul of the world
We gather for different reasons and yet are drawn by the same Spirit calling from the wilderness and from our own Soul. Whatever draws us, we share one thing in common - a desire to encounter the sacred embodied within the natural world and in our own body. Re-membering ourselves as part of nature, as interrelated in the wild web of being, changes how we be in the world, and how we live out our daily lives. When we enter the conversations going on between our own Soul, the ground beneath our feet, the trees, birds, worms and rocks, and with each other, our sense of belonging expands our identity and our hearts.
We are not led by doctrine or dogma, but by Mystery that indwells us and all others, human and other-than-human. All of life is a revelation of the Divine.
We honor the land we gather on, and the Indigenous Peoples who lived in the Shenandoah mountains thousands of years before European colonization, acknowledging the traumatic history of genocide and theft.
We believe the natural world is animate, conscious and inspirited. All beings are a source of some aspect of Universal Intelligence.
We believe that the more we get to know the living beings within our watersheds, the more we will love them and protect them.
We believe that all created beings are interconnected physiologically, energetically, and spiritually.
We believe as the mystics have throughout time - that we can live from our Soul, our wholeness, in direct connection with God, the Source of All-that-is.
We believe the ecology of geographic landscapes and the ecology of our inner landscapes are connected, and healing can be mutual.
We believe that transformed people transform culture.
In this time of unravelings, destruction, and the escalating effects of climate change, we realign ourselves as creatures interdependent with the rest of the natural world for our mutual common good. Awakening to the reality of our own sacred Soul and the sacred found in all beings, we seek to live more present to life. Shifts take place not just in our minds, but in a deeper place within, resulting in shifts around us - in our families and communities - for the healing of the world.
“Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity.” Rachel Carson
A bit about our facilitator/guide
Valerie Luna Serrels started Shenandoah Valley Church of the Wild, with the help of her husband, Craig, in April 2017 following a series of spiritual experiences that changed her theology and spiritual awareness along with changes to her theory of social change. She walks the edges of her roots within the Christ tradition, shaped by the values of social justice and nonviolence from the Mennonite church, and by her ancestral heritage within the Celtic spiritual tradition. She holds an M.A. from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University focused on Restorative Justice, and is a Minister ordained by the Association for the Integration of the Whole Person. Valerie is a Reiki practitioner, believing that Rei, ("Universal Life, or Divine") and Ki, ("Energy") works to restore our body, mind, psyche, and spirit, to bring about our highest and greatest good, whatever that might be.