Church & Garden

 

Of course, we do live in the Pacific Northwest, where natural beauty is so abundant that it pretty much stops our hearts every day. Plus, our town, Sedro-Woolley, located the beautiful Skagit River, is known as the “Gateway to the Cascades.” (That is, the Cascade Mountains!)

Skagit Valley-D Huggins

Scene just East, on the Skagit River, in the foothills of the Cascades. (Photo by Dale Huggins)

 

And, among us we have ample skills in nature photography, trail building/maintenance, fishing, farming, camping, backpacking/hiking, logging, and GARDENING, especially with native plants.

 

Church Campus

Church Campus in Fall

So, it just seems to follow naturally that we create and maintain not only a lovely sanctuary—simply but beautifully appointed in the Methodist tradition—but extend our “sanctuary” to our surrounding campus. It would be accurate to say that this aspect of our congregational life is a vital component of our collective spiritual experience.

And so, we do not look out at stained glass windows—we look out at rhododendrons, cedars, Norway poplars, gingko, Douglas firs, Western dogwoods, ferns…

But all this doesn’t come easily—so, many hands pitch in with whatever skills they happen to have…

Of course, we are all, every one of us, always at home in the presence of the Lord anywhere in all of creation, but we are human, after all, and a special physical space set aside just feels right. And, how could we be welcoming if we didn’t have a place to gather and invite folks into…?

And so, although it’s way far from the glories of, say, Vancouver Island’s Butchart Gardens, we maintain our garden sanctuary as beautifully as possible, with our rakes, clippers, paint brushes, help from Scouts, tractors, Janicki’s huge machines, and lots of willing hands.

Scouts Work Party

“Our” Scouts — what we would do without them??

We did a little Bible searching and found some inspiring instances of the garden as a metaphor for perfect harmony, for well-watered places and souls, for goodness and abundance—the opposite of “waste places.” Jesus used the metaphor of the garden in his parables, and at his last, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.