Belonging to a Beloved Community Larger than Our Species

“The very real, concrete changes our world desperately needs, but desperately resists, will not happen without a compassionate and intimate reconnection with nature. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Victoria Luna Loorz Center for Wild Spirituality/Seminary of the Wild/Wild Church Network Contact Me

About this pastoral study project

The increasingly obvious climate crisis is forcing us to re-evaluate how we relate to nature and practice fidelity to Place.

In the midst of the profound ecological and spiritual unraveling we are experiencing, there is a movement quietly gaining momentum that seeks to repair a dangerous fissure between nature and our spirituality. Thirty years ago, my work was focused on challenging the church to surrender a limiting and destructive theology of dominion over nature into a posture and practice of responsible stewardship. It has been heartening to see most denominations and many churches make changes that lower their impact on the planet.

But, over the past seven years, my work has pivoted away from the activism of stewardship, which is still rooted in a hierarchical, even "savior" mentality that often limits its focus on more responsible consumption. I've realized that beneath the important work of sustainable activity, there is an important role for the church that none other can fill: articulating and living into a theology of belonging in sacred relationship with Earth, by falling in love with the particular beings and places that share our home.

I plan to study not only what has been written, but to seek out and record stories from people who are embodying this emerging movement and through these stories, contribute to development of an eco-theological practice beyond stewardship , , toward a theology and practice of sacred relationship within a beloved community larger than our species.

Through personal interviews, community conversations and an online survey, I will witness and record stories of belonging to place (rather than a place belonging to me) that are emerging on the edges of the Christ tradition. These stories will provide the foundation for a book on Belonging to Place and the findings of practices and insights will be integrated in curriculum for the EcoMinistry Certificate program through the Center for Wild Spirituality.