Breathe in the fresh air with the family, artistic workshops, walks or even outdoor meditations: these are the suggestions of “Au rendez-vous de la nature”, a project supported by the Evangelical Reformed Church in Vaud. Launch in early May.
“When we are in nature, we face infinity.” It is by quoting the famous Swiss naturalist Robert Hainard that Renaud Rindlisbacher, deacon of the Reformed Evangelical Church in Vaud (EERV), sums up his approach. Under the banner “Au rendez-vous de la nature”, this minister from Saint-Prex parish from the beginning of May intends to offer different activities, mix environment and the search for meaning, between family walks, meditations, creative activities or more sporty walks.
“The idea is not to take our parish children out for a walk,” he clarifies, but “to invite nature lovers to experience something of the outdoor spiritual order,” he continues. “To go inward while discovering the riches of creation.” For this nature and animal photography enthusiast, the link seems obvious. “Nature has always accompanied me on my spiritual journey,” says the man, born into a family on the coast, “where one is a father-son gardener.”
At a time when the “ecological and social transition” has become one of the priorities of the EERV, the latter has decided to support this project by giving it 30% working time. For for the institution, ecological action can only pass “through an authentic personal and collective inner transition”.
wisdom of nature
“Throughout his ministry, Jesus taught in the fields, by the lakes, on the hills … And not without reason,” remembers Renaud Rindlisbacher. And to claim: “Nature is a source of homework for our lives.” An example? The deacon likes to quote the episode where “Jesus invites us to look at the birds, well obliged to trust that every day they will get what they need.” For the deacon, it’s the perfect illustration of “happy sobriety”: “If they stuffed themselves, their wings could no longer carry them. Yet their way of consuming is to take just what they need, without filling up or over-consuming. “We have a lot to learn here, because we often do the opposite!”
Would it therefore be a question during these meetings to raise awareness of nature more than to invite people to meditate? ‘I think the two are closely linked. When we are in the middle of a forest of giant trees surpassing us, it invites us to lift our heads, ”he replies. Moreover, he clarifies, this connection between nature and the divine is not only valid in the Christian religion: “In Asian traditions, it is suggested to people suffering from stress or anxiety to take ‘forest baths’: that is, the effect that it can have on our inner self.
Face to face with God
The deacon is convinced of this: nature approaches God. Would he personally have experienced this connection? God, it’s like going out into nature to photograph a deer or a fox: you can not decide when and where it should appear. There is something about letting go. One has to believe in it, and sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. I experience that there is something very similar to the spiritual life. ” And to explain: “God escapes us all the time, even though he is at the same time all the time. We can not fathom it, but we can make sure we are aware of its presence. “The first appointments are scheduled for May 7.
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