Summer creates outdoor church services

By Traci Scott,

Nature reflects God’s power, magnitude and magnificence, as well as embodies his love, joy, and compassion.  It can fill us with awe, refresh our souls and provide us with proper perspective. In order to experience God’s creation directly, the Genesis Church in Eugene has been holding its Sunday services outdoors this summer. The church began holding its “Church in the Park” services outdoors back in June when the University of Oregon asked it to relocate from its usual campus location for a couple of weeks to accommodate the Olympic Track & Field Trials which were being held in town. 

The outdoor experience struck a harmonious chord with its members, so the decision was made to hold all of its Sunday services outside in University Park this summer.
We like being out in nature,” states Pastor Pat Hartsfield.  “It’s a great place to worship God.”

The church’s motto is “Casual, Spirtual, Biblical”.  Not only is the dress casual, but the mood is fun and lighthearted as well.  Church members sit underneath a canopy in bleachers next to the park’s wading pool clad in shorts, sandals and sunglasses.
“It’s nice to be outside every Sunday,” says member Carolyn Stark.  “You feel more of a fellowship with the other members of the church.”

Other Oregon churches holding outdoor services this summer to personally experience God’s creation include Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Salem and New Life Church in Oregon City.

And in the Seattle area, Quest Church has recently launched an outdoor-based ministry.

“Quest Outdoors is an opportunity to enjoy and explore God’s creation with like-minded people,” according to ministers Eric and Carina Long.  “We love the outdoors for many reasons, but most importantly because nature is a reflection of who God is, and we want to join with his creation in giving him glory and praise.”

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