Life Notes: The Chapel in the Woods
by Mickey Stringfield, Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplain

From Psalm 104, 10-12: “You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. Above the springs the birds of the air have their nests: they sing among the branches.”

One of the best kept secrets in Lincoln Parish is the Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home. The OWL holds wonderful possibilities for all citizens. But one secret still remains relatively unknown to most. This is our chapel in the woods. It’s not easy to get to, but once you make the effort, you’ll be glad you did.

It sits on a pond, surrounded by deep, quiet woods. The chapel itself is very rustic, and you’re surrounded by nature in all its glory, power, and peace. Sometimes a fish will jump, a frog will croak, or, from overhead somewhere, a bird will sing. As you worship in this setting, you’ll be enticed and enthralled by the wonder of God’s creativity.

It’s a lot of fun to take our Children’s Home youth to the chapel at the OWL. Some of them are very excited about the experience, while others are afraid of bugs, or just don’t want to get too hot. But, almost always, each of them experiences the awesome power that God demonstrates in love through His creation. One of our teachers at Howard School also loves to use this setting to teach youth about nature and our place in it.

I believe the Psalmist expresses clearly for us how wonderful life can be when we stay close to nature in our wonderful rolling, forest-covered hills of North Louisiana. This joy we find in living is made known to us in many wonderful ways through our OWL Center with all its programs and activities. But this is especially true when we worship our God surrounded by His awesome creation. I hope you’ll feel free to use it. You’ll be glad you did.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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