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River Immersions: August and September Wild Church Gatherings
This Sunday: Wading into the Waters of Baptism

Why do people get immersed or sprinkled with water as a sign of their saying "yes" to following Jesus and joining the community of faith? Water matters to Christian faith and spiritual practice! We'll gather by the San Joaquin River this Sunday, Aug. 1 from 9-11 a.m. for a contemplative gathering and will wade into the deeper meanings of baptism and our connection to water.

Location for gathering: Park near Popolo's Pizza at 7835 N Palm Ave #106 at 8:45 a.m. and meet at the top of Gravel Hill Road to walk down to our spot along the San Joaquin River. Message us or text Katerina ahead of time if this is your first time joining so we can walk down with you! 559-930-0044. Bring a blanket or camping chair, water, and a hat. 
Want to grow in your spiritual journey this fall? I (Katerina) created 10 challenges for Camden, one of our youth members, to explore in preparation for baptism later this fall.
Choose one or more of the challenges from this shared doc and join us! Below is an example of one of the challenges.

You can trust in God’s goodness, love and grace. 

Readings: Exodus 34:6; Psalm 56:3

Challenge: Float on a body of water. 
Feel your body upheld by water. God is all around you, like the water. You can only float by relaxing and trusting the buoyancy of water. How does it feel to entrust your life to God in the same way? Faith is more about this free-fall of trust than about certainty and being right.

Upcoming Gatherings

Sun., August 1:
River gathering, 9-11 a.m.

Wade in the waters of baptism! See above for details. 


Sat., September 4th:
Canoe trip! 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

We're partnering with the San Joaquin River Conservancy and Conservation Trust for a canoe trip with capacity for up to 28 people (ages 12+). Email or message Wild Church to sign up for more details!
This will be a contemplative immersion into our local watershed to pray for the River and also enjoy time together on the cool waters!
Sliding Scale: $10-$40/ person


October 3rd

Wild Church Gathering at the River (first Sunday of the month).
Details coming soon!



These gatherings continue our exploration of Watershed Discipleship, a way of reconnecting our faith and love for our place. 
See https://watersheddiscipleship.org/

Saying Goodbye (for now) to Erika Enomoto:
A note from Erika: "On August 30th, I will be leaving Fresno and flying out to Jinotepe, Nicaragua. For the next 11 months, I will be serving as a Food Security Assistant with St. Luke Foundation through Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)'s Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program. In Jinotepe, communities are facing food hardships due to the effects of climate change and their reliance on traditional subsistence agriculture (agrochemicals, etc.). As a Food Security Assistant, I will be helping St. Luke Foundation promote conservation agriculture (minimum tillage, use of coverage, and crop rotation), in hope of increasing food production so that families do not have to move elsewhere. Some of my day-to-day tasks will include working in the experimental center to test different agricultural methods to see which ones are best suited for adapting to the effects of climate change and working with community members to adopt these new methods in their own plots. Thank you everyone for your support!"
We will offer a blessing for Erika at this Sunday's gathering!

July Interdependence Day Gathering

We had an amazing time hiking in awe in Yosemite (Ahwahnee in Miwuk) on the 4th of July! The beautiful land holds stories and memories we sought to remember, with the help of Rachel Friesen, who works in Yosemite as an ecologist. We shared reflections on interdependence with creation as a truth far deeper than independence, meditated on a Psalm led by Lynn Baker, and also heard about violence and forced removal perpetrated against Indigenous peoples of Yosemite by state-sponsored white militias, a story repeated across the US that our nation's origin story has not often told. As we continue to learn, we seek to more fully inhabit this place with Christ's love, which does not deny or ignore the pain of past and present.

One way we thought we could recognize the First Nations of Yosemite today would be to support their federal recognition process, and offer an entrance fee whenever we visit to one of the seven affiliated tribes, like the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation: https://www.southernsierramiwuknation.org/get-involved

Volunteer Service Opportunity: We want to highlight Yo'Ville Community Garden and Farm, a 7.5 acre fresh food production space that serves and involves the residents of Southwest Fresno. They've started a beginning farmer incubator program and are also active in creating a Food Policy Council to promote food justice and healthy food access in our region. Chris De León is a community garden manager, Erika Enomoto has been interning there for the past year, and Lynn Baker is a regular volunteer (pictured above with Chris). Volunteer days are Tuesdays and Thursdays - contact Chris for more details at chris@fresnometmin.org.
If you want to donate toward Wild Church, you can make an offering through Mennonite Community Church (our fiscal sponsor). Checks can be made out to Mennonite Community Church and designated for Wild Church. Send to their address at 5015 E. Olive Ave., Fresno, CA 93727 (or bring to Wild Church). You can also donate securely online by creating an account under "online giving" here: http://mennocom.org
Lectio Divina: Wild Church members Lynn and Mark Baker are hosting Lectio Divina tonight through Zoom and on other Sundays twice a month. This is a way of praying and contemplating Scripture that helps us move out of our heads and into a deeper place of listening from our hearts. If you're interested in joining, you can reach out to Lynn and Mark Baker for the Zoom link at lmbaker84@sbcglobal.net. More about Lectio Divina: https://www.thecontemplativelife.org/lectio-divina
Check out this short intro video that shares about Wild Church and why we are part of this beloved community. Share with anyone who may be interested in joining us sometime! 

What is Wild Church?

In this time of ecological collapse and mass extinction we feel called to create beloved community re-connected with the soil, water, plants, and all creatures of our watershed here in Fresno.

  • We are connected to the Wild Church Network of congregations seeking to encounter God in the wilderness, a place of spiritual transformation and new vision. We are inspired by the Watershed Discipleship movement of church communities learning to love their place, as defined by their watershed.

  • We are part of Mennonite Church USA, rooted in the Anabaptist tradition of following Jesus in daily life. We are open to all who are looking for deeper relationship with God, community, and creation from any faith tradition or no faith tradition.

  • We are committed to the internal and external work of undoing racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of violence that harm our bodies and grieve the Spirit.
  • We believe that ancient faith practices like Sabbath rest, Eucharist, Scripture reflection and prayer offer healing and renewal for our weary bodies and world.

  • We usually meet outdoors monthly on the first Sunday of each month, and invite you to connect through other opportunities during the month. Kids are welcome! We don't have childcare, but invite their participation and play throughout our time together.

  • We are an evolving experiment in being church in a renewed way, and invite your ideas, creativity, and contributions! Check out our website at www.wildchurchfresno.org.

Would you like to meet up for tea or coffee sometime? Feel free to reach out to Katerina at wildchurchfresno@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/WildChurchFresno/
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Wild Church · 3436 E Kerckhoff Ave · Fresno, CA 93702-2708 · USA

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