The group stands in a circle at the edge of a forest of maple, aspen, poplar, and oak.
At this “wild church” north of Toronto, member Paula Windsor reads from Hermann Hesse’s “Ode to Trees.” “Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree,” she reads from the 20th-century work.
When she finishes, the Rev. James Ravenscroft traces the ideas in the secular text to Scripture. “If we pay attention, we hear something similar in a sense when we hear Genesis 2:9,” he tells the dozen congregants of Three Rivers Forest Church on a recent Sunday. “‘Out of the ground, God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, as well as the tree of knowledge of good and evil.’”
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