Holy Hikes Report 2018

“There is no such thing as ‘human community’ without the earth and the soil and the air and the water and all the living forms. Without these, humans do not exist. In my view, the human community and the natural world will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will both perish in the desert.” -Fr. Thomas Berry

Do you feel close to God in nature? Do you love the beauty of the Holy Eucharist? Holy Hikes (www.holyhikes.org) brings the Holy Eucharist outdoors in monthly liturgical hikes offered throughout the Bay Area. Since 2010, Holy Hikes has been inviting people to deepen their relationship with the earth through regular worship outdoors. Each month we gather for a hike (usually at 10am) and during the entirety of the hike we celebrate a stational Eucharist. These hikes tend to be fairly level and generally between two to three miles round-trip to accommodate hikers of all skill levels.

In addition to these regular hikes, Holy Hikes has partnered with San Francisco Baykeeper (www.baykeeper.org), a Bay Area nonprofit working relentlessly to protect the bay and surrounding watersheds from polluters. Quarterly, Holy Hikes and SF Baykeeper have been hosting a “Bay Clean-up Mass” where we celebrate the Holy Eucharist as we clean up a beach or marshland that has been devastated by pollution.

Holy Hikes– San Francisco Bay Area is established as a ministry of All Saints Episcopal Church, San Leandro, serving the Diocese of California and the wider San Francisco Bay Area. We hold hikes throughout the diocese in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, San Francisco County, and San Mateo County. The location changes monthly in order to reach people throughout the diocese. So far, this year we have visited SF Botanical Garden, Tomales Bay State Park, Indian Rock Park, East Creek Slough, Pickleweed Park, the Oakland Zoo (for our annual Zoocharist), Stow Lake at Golden Gate Park (and The Prayer Book Cross), and India Basin Shoreline Park.

This year, Holy Hikes received a $6,420 grant from the Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation (Link), enabled by Resolution A030, and was featured in Episcopal New Service (Link) and Living Lutheran Magazine (Link). With the support of this grant, Holy Hikes has grown and now has twelve chapters across the country in the Bay Area, Central Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio, Rio Grande, Southern Indiana, the Smokies, Tennessee Valley (Alabama), Twin Cities (Minn.), Upper South Carolina, Vermont, West Alabama, and West Virginia. The grant is enabling us to support these chapters in partnering with their local water-keepers in projects to restore and defend their local watersheds.    

We are excited about the growth of this ministry and invite you to learn more, join us for a hike, or consider making a gift to support our work at www.holyhikes.org.

Respectfully Submitted by the Rev. Justin R. Cannon, founder and director, Holy Hikes®