Pastor Jes Kast shares a message with the congregation of Faith United Church of Christ during a floating service at Bald Eagle State Park, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 30, 2020. RNS photo by Abby Drey
We have paddled a lot in 2020 -- approaching 40 outings since the end of March. It has been a great way to physically distance from others. We've explored creeks and rivers, lakes and bays in a bunch of different watersheds. Ruth and I canoed together the first time 48 summers ago (gulp!) and still enjoy it. During the past 20 years of so we've kayaked as well and our excellent boats have been the craft of choice when we are ocean paddling. So often it is a spiritual experience for us and we usually take a few moments to ponder, to pray, to give thanks to the Creator.
What we do is not formally worship, and our congregation is almost always the pair of us. Can you imagine if there was a "kayak church" for those who sense the presence of God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer while on the water.
A few weeks ago Rev. Jen Kast gathered members of her congregation for a service on the water after months of virtual worship. According to a Religion News Service article:
More than two dozen people joined the brightly colored flotilla for Kayak Church on Sunday (Aug. 30) as Faith, like so many other churches across the country, dips its toes into meeting together in person after months apart during the novel coronavirus pandemic. For some, it was the first time they’d been together for worship in months. “Isn’t it good to see people? It just feels good to be here together,” Kast said.
It sounds as though this was a meaningful experience for the members of the flock, or flotilla, or whatever we want to call it.
I love the tranquility of our outings, but it wouldn't take much paddle-twisting to convince me to provide leadership for something similar. God has certainly blessed us with venues in this part of Ontario.