Archive for February 26th, 2021

Easter in the Redwood Grove


Written by Judith Walters.

During this past year of social isolation due to the Pandemic, we have been attending church online in our homes, or sitting 6 feet apart wearing a mask, on the church patio.  Far from normal, it has been such a different experience. Usually, Easter and Christmas are the times when throngs of people feel compelled to attend church in a building. Thinking that being there is a ritual necessary to being “Christian.”  In my childhood, we attended church, Sunday School, and choir every Sunday.  On Easter Sunday, it was important to have a new outfit that  matched my sister’s, a new hat, gloves, and patent leather Mary Jane shoes.  My hair was tied in rags the prior night to make long curls.  Colored eggs, Easter baskets and a special Ham or Lamb dinner completed the occasion.

However, my most memorable Easter, occurred in my 30’s, and not in a Church building.

I was visiting a friend who lived on 2 acres of Redwoods in Northern California. My friend a Catholic, and I a Protestant, decided to celebrate Easter Sunday in the majestic Redwood

grove on her property.  Bible in hand, without much of a plan, we walked to our service.

I remember singing “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”(no accompaniment), reading Scripture passages of the Resurrection, saying the 23rd Psalm, sharing our unifying thoughts, and closing with the Lord’s Prayer and singing “Amazing Grace.”  This could not have been a more simple service of our combined beliefs. Standing In the midst of these ancient, stately Coastal Redwoods, I remember feeling that we were in a Cathedral in a forest, closer to God than in any building most people call a church.  I will never forget that experience, the simplicity that we can be so close to God  in celebrating Jesus’ resurrection in a quiet Redwood grove on Easter Sunday.  A gentle wind, chirping birds, and our small voices, God was surrounding us with His Glory!  

This year Easter may be celebrated in my backyard, where I will prepare an altar with a cross and flowers. Or, along the beach.  Wherever I am, I will experience God’s Glory and the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!


From the Roman Breviary,. the liturgical book of the Latin Church. Published in 1482, it became known as the Liturgy of the Hours.

O Lord,

be our Sanctifier and the Shepherd.

Strengthen and help us,

that in our daily life walk with you,

we serve you in all quietness of spirit;

through Jesus Christ our Master. Amen.


Hymn of Nature: Written by Jon Schmidt in 2006, with Stephanie Wayland at piano.

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