"Forgive me that I cannot kneel
And worship in this pew,
For I have knelt in western dawns,
When the stars were large and few"
~ "God's Creed", Ella Higginson, 1861-1940
It's a rare morning when the front page of a city's newspaper shares the heartfelt words of Ella Higginson, a poet laureate of Washington state. I'm happy to discover Ella - she and I are clearly kindred spirits on the path in many ways.
The excerpt from her poem God's Creed appeared in the following story: Do you see God in a sunset? "Nature religion" may be the signature spirituality of the Pacific Northwest.
Apparently another study (this one by Baylor University) has awarded Portland the distinction of being the most unchurched city in the entire United States - and Oregon the most unchurched state.
This particular study took a rather unique approach:
"Researchers compared the richness of natural amenities in every U.S. county to religious adherents per 1,000 people. They found that areas with higher rates of amenities have lower rates of religious adherence."
I'm not at all surprised. Like Ella, I walk the passages of "Nature's church" most days of the week, and even when I must remain at home, my church sends missionaries to my door.