DAYSPRING EARTH MINISTRY 
AWAKENING TO THE DREAM OF THE EARTH

2024 Events Calendar

(Scroll down for details -- as they become available) 

January 21, February 18, and March  17 - Wild Earth Spiritual Community at Dayspring

March 14 Contemplative Earth Awareness Seminar with Shalem Institute at Bon Secours

March 19 Spring Equinox Ceremony

June 14-16 Silent Retreat at Dayspring -- Refugia: Hidden Shelters for Preserving Life in a time of ecological and cultural peril

June 22 Summer Solstice Ceremony: Prayer for the Earth in this Season of Summer Sun and Wildfire

September 21 Autumn Equinox Ceremony

October 11-13 A Soul/Nature Retreat At Rolling Ridge: theme to be determined

December 21 Winter Solstice Ceremony
January 21, February 18, and March 17

Wild Earth Spiritual Community at Dayspring 3 PM


About Wild Earth Spiritual Community (Formerly Church of the wild  DC-MD-VA)

We seek to live in deeper relationship with Earth, Divine Presence and each other. We gather twice monthly in sacred, natural woodlands in the Metro DC area. We are a diverse, inclusive and inter-spiritual community.  Our gatherings combine contemplative spiritual practices with songs and chants, drumming, silent wandering and fellowship. Our practices enhance and grow our commitment to Earth and Her Beings, informing the work we do individually and collectively in the outer world.​

We are a member of the Wild Church Network.

Please register for this free gathering so that we can keep you up-to-date on event information, including what to bring, directions, parking information, and weather-related changes! Register at https://www.wildearthspiritual.org/
Dayspring Earth Ministry


Contemplative Earth Awareness

March 14, 2023

Workshop for Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation Program

Contemplative Earth prayer is about seeing God in all things and seeing all things in God, deepening our awareness of God in nature.
As we wander in the natural world we enter into a prayer that is already happening. The natural world is not just a backdrop for prayer, but the prayer itself. In this way of prayer we restore our ancient citizenship in the sacred world around us, a world that greets us, welcomes us home.
In this workshop we experience this prayer as we walk on the land, as we engage our bodies with the body of the Earth, as we bring images to a four seasons wheel and reflect on how the natural world mirrors our inner world. We share stories of our experiences of the wildness and mystery of God as we have encountered it in deep forests, vast deserts, mountains, and in backyards, parks, and gardens where we live.
For participants in the year-long Shalem Institute program Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats.
March 19 at 6:45 PM

Spring Equinox Ceremony


Cheer-cheerful-charmer, the bluebird sings, 
bidding us to attend to the real business of this season!

On Tuesday evening on the day of the Spring Equinox we come together for a ceremony both ancient and new to honor and give thanks for the precious gifts of life that Spring embodies. This Spring we open our hearts to beauty and new life in this season that holds the balance between the dark and light. 

In this time when all life is endangered, much is out of sync, and we are too much caught in darkness, it is especially important to grow in gratitude to the Earth for all the ways Earth nourishes and renews us -- awakens dream and imagination in us -- gives us courage to blossom and bear fruit. Maybe even to sing a song of cheer. 

 We will gather outside the Dayspring Farmhouse at 6:45 pm and walk to the labyrinth fire circle for this ceremony of poetry, silent wander, and shared prayer on the land, inspired by the "Thanksgiving Address" (the "Words Before All Else") of the Native People known as the Iroquois. After the ceremony, there is an option to linger around the fire for a time of reflection on finding hope and balance in these times. 

 For questions and information call Jim and Cheryl/Dayspring Earth Ministry at 301-916-4827.
Holy Ground [Collage]. Doug Van Houten

June 14 - 16, 2024
Dayspring Silent Retreat: Refugia: Hidden Shelters for Preserving Life in a time of ecological and cultural peril.

If destructive forces are building under our lives, then our work in this time and place. . .is to create refugia. . . Even now, we can create small pockets of flourishing. . . to protect life, so that the full measure of possibility can spread and reseed the world. --Kathleen Dean Moore Great Tide Rising

My work is loving the world --Mary Oliver   

In this time of silent retreat, we will listen and reflect on stories of refugia in the natural world, in human culture, and in the depths of our own hearts. Even now, especially now, as much that surrounds us in our world feels overwhelming, we are called to creativity, to courage, to resilience, and to a love both humble and fierce.   

Leaders: Jim Hall and Cheryl Hellner, Dayspring Earth Ministry


June 22 -- 7 PM at Dayspring

Summer Solstice Ceremony

An Invitation to a Gathering of Prayer for the Earth in this Season of Summer Sun and Wildfire

On Saturday evening after the Summer Solstice, we come together to remember and give thanks: for the gifts of the sun's light, for the beauty and abundance of summer gardens and fields, for the wisdom of Earth herself. It matters -- perhaps more than we will ever know -- that we do this. Especially now, when northern forests burn on an unprecedented scale, and our air is filled with smoke. When it is dangerous for us and our children even to be outside.

We begin at 7 PM at the Dayspring Farmhouse and walk in silence and simple presence to a place near the stone labyrinth overlooking the fields for this ceremony of sacred circle dance, of poems and  songs expressing our grief for Earth's distress and our longing for a new time, of silent wander on the land, and of prayers of gratitude inspired by the ancient Thanksgiving Address as given us by the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations). 

We invite you to bring a poem or song to share related to this time of Earth's distress. The ceremony will finish by 8:00. All are welcome invluding children. Since this ceremony is entirely outdoors, in the event of thunderstorms the gathering is cancelled. For questions and information call Jim or Cheryl at Dayspring Earth Ministry -- 301-916-4827.
September 21   6:30 PM at Dayspring 

Autumn Equinox Ceremony

Just a day before the Autumnal Equinox we will gather at the Farmhouse and walk through the fields to a hill overlooking the fields of goldenrod. Join us as we take time to give thanks for the many beautiful aspects of the natural world here at Dayspring. As the season turns from the exuberance of summer to the time of harvest and letting go, we mark this passage with ceremony.

It matters -- perhaps more than we will ever know -- that we do this.

We will meet at the Farmhouse at 6:30 pm and then walk in silence through the golden fields.  We will be sharing the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address with time for silence both before and after the address.

For questions or to let us know you’ll be coming, please contact: Jim or Cheryl at 301-916-4827

October 11-13, 2024 
Soul/Nature Retreat at Rolling Ridge

Theme to be announced
November 3 or 17 at 3PM

Wild Earth Spiritual Community at Dayspring

Theme: To Be announced

Join us as we gather around the fire this November for Church of the Wild at Dayspring honoring the theme of Deepening our Oneness Through Spiritual practice. Park at the Farmhouse and follow signs to the labyrinth fire circle.

Special: For those who would like to drum, join us a few minutes before 3 PM for a drum circle around the fire. Please bring your own drum or pick up a percussion instrument in the circle.

Please register for this event at https://www.wildearthspiritual.org/upcoming-events

About Wild Earth Spiritual Community (Formerly Church of the wild  DC-MD-VA)  We seek to live in deeper relationship with Earth, Divine Presence and each other. We gather twice monthly in sacred, natural woodlands in the Metro DC area. We are a diverse, inclusive and inter-spiritual community.  Our gatherings combine contemplative spiritual practices with songs and chants, drumming, silent wandering and fellowship. Our practices enhance and grow our commitment to Earth and Her Beings, informing the work we do individually and collectively in the outer world.​

We are a member of the Wild Church Network.

Wild Earth Spiritual Community at Dayspring 

December 1 or 15 at 3PM
Early Winter: Reverence for the Dark

We follow the seasonal wheel of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Now is the time to note and greet the arrival of early winter. We pause as we come up on the longest night of the year on Dec. 21st, the winter solstice. While the solstice signals the beginning of a return to light, all remains quiet and dark. It is not yet time to step into the light for the activity of blossoming. Like the animals, we continue resting, dreaming, and being held by Divine Mystery. What connections in the world might you refuse to engage in now? What needs to be saved or re-claimed? Theodore Roethke wrote, “In a dark time, the eyes begin to see.” What might you see in the dark that you can’t see in the light?
see https://www.wildearthspiritual.org/upcoming-events and register there (no cost).
December 21 at 7 PM at Dayspring 

Winter Solstice Ceremony

On the evening of the Winter solstice, at a time when there is so much heart-breaking news about our Sacred Earth Community, we come together to remember and give thanks: for the gifts of the darkness, for the beauty and deep rest of the winter season, and the promise of the coming light.

It matters -- perhaps more than we will ever know -- that we do this. That we remember to give thanks and bless the Earth in this way

We invite you to join us. We will begin at 7 PM at the Dayspring Farmhouse and then walk as pilgrims in the darkness in silence along the roads leading to the fire ring near the stone labyrinth. 

As we gather by the labyrinth we will light the fire to awaken the divine light in each one of us that we may “bear the light in unbearable times” as the poet Jan Richardson suggests. We will join in reading together portions of the Thanksgiving Address as given us by the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations). The ceremony will finish by 8 PM.  You are invited to linger for a cup of cider and conversation afterwards.

Aware of active respiratory infections, please do not join us if you are sick and keep physical distance when we gather. Wear a face covering if you wish. Please come dressed for the weather and bring a flashlight. Questions or to let us know you'll be joining us? Please contact Jim Hall or Cheryl Hellner at jimhallmd@yahoo.com.  
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