A Fireside Chat
with Victoria Loorz

Author, Spiritual Director, and Co-founder of the Wild Church Network 

Occurred on Friday, November 19, 2021

On Friday, November 19, Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, Executive Director of The BTS Center, shared a lunchtime Fireside Chat with Victoria Loorz, spiritual director and co-founder of the Wild Church Network and Seminary of the Wild. Loorz is the author of Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred, published in October 2021 by Broadleaf Books.
Like many who feel unfulfilled by traditional faith expressions, Victoria Loorz went in search of a spirituality strong enough to reckon with the unraveling of her vocation, identity, and planet, and found herself in the wilderness. With an ecospiritual lens on biblical narratives and a fresh look at a community larger than our own species, her book, Church of the Wild uncovers the wild roots of faith and helps us deepen our commitment to a suffering earth by falling in love with it — and calling it church. Through mystical encounters with wild deer, whispers from a scrubby oak tree, wordless conversation with a cougar, and more, Loorz helps us connect to a love that literally holds the world together — a love that calls us into communion with all creatures.
"We have lost relational language for the natural world and lost part of our own souls along with it," she writes. "Repairing the great conversation means that we approach the world as alive, respecting that every individual — every single human, every single leaf, every single ant — is unique and has their own subjective reality." 
We shared a wide-ranging conversation about the Wild Church movement — spiritual communities popping up all over the land, like wild mushrooms after a spring rain, responding to a call from deep within to change the way we relate to the natural world — about eco-spirituality and theology, about her book, and about the spiritual leadership that is needed in a climate-changed world. 
View the recording of the conversation below:

Meet Victoria Loorz

Victoria Loorz, MDiv, is a spiritual director and the founding pastor of the first Church of the Wild, in Ojai, California and Echoes Wild Church in Bellingham, Washington. She co-founded and leads the ecumenical Wild Church Network, a North American cohort of wild church leaders. Victoria is co-founder, guide and director of Seminary of the Wild, which offers a yearlong Eco-Ministry Certificate program that supports spiritual leaders to say YES to their own ‘wild calling’ to serve all Creation. She also guides the Eco-Spiritual Direction program in collaboration with Stillpoint, which trains spiritual directors to include the natural world as co-companions on the spiritual journey. She is mother to two young adult children, Alec and Olivia, who are wise, creative, tender souls, dedicated to creating a more inclusive, compassionate, and just world.

Victoria’s newly published book, Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites us into the Sacred (Broadleaf Books, October 2021), can be purchased from the following distributors: