Oakwood Forest Church is based at Oakwood which is part of Maiden Erlgh Nature Reserve.
We meet four times a year at the Interpretation Centre at Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve in Earley for an hour in God’s natural cathedral “worshipping in nature ” WIN. You can park at the car park at the end of Marefield, Lower Earley, Reading. RG6 3DU. Or on the side of Instow Road, alongside the Interpretation Centre RG6 5QJ
For more information about the nature reserve they have a website http://www.maidenerleghlnr.org.uk/index.html
One fabulous resource on the reserve website is the self guided walk which takes you through the varied aspects of the nature reserve. If you can not come to an Oakwood Forest Church event then follow this link http://www.maidenerleghlnr.org.uk/walksg.htm and take a walk with God when convenient for you.
The reserve is owned and managed by Earley Town Council through their rangers; more can be found out about the council and their work at their website http://www.earley-tc.gov.uk/maidenerlegh.htm
There are some wonderful photos of Earley, it’s wildlife and the reserve at http://www.earley-tc.gov.uk/gallery1.htm
If you would like to know about environmental issues in the local area then one good port of call is the Earley Environmental Group http://www.earleyenvironmentalgroup.co.uk/Default.asp
In January Oakwood Forest Church walked, explored and prayed about creation. These are the introduction and readings which we shared along the way.
Today we will walk the creation story. Creation is described in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. This story was written over 4000 years ago, when no one understood how the world was made or how it works. Within the story there are many truths for us to understand and many questions we need to think about. We will walk seven bases; one for each day of the creation story and think about what each phase of creation was like for God, for the world and for those being created.
On the first day God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light “day” and darkness “night.” God saw the light and the dark and said “it is good”.
On the second day God created a huge space to separate the waters and called it “sky.” God saw the sky and said “it is good”.
On the third day God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters “seas.” He put plants and trees on the land. God saw the land and the sea and said “it is good”.
On the fourth day God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to separate the day and the night. God saw the sun, moon and stars and said “it is good”.
On the fifth day God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird of the sky, telling them to fill the waters and the sky with life. God saw the birds and the fish and said “it is good”.
On the sixth day God created the animals to fill the earth. The small ones like the ants, the medium ones like the dogs and the large ones like the elephants. God then created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in his own image. God told the men and women to care for the earth. God saw the animals and the men and women and said “it is VERY good”.
On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation and so he rested, blessing it and making it holy.
During the walk we battled the elements of flooded lake water, raised water table and unbelievable amounts of mud; but none of it put us off. We collected items we found to create our own symbols of worship including crosses, posies and hearts. We planted seeds in tiny pots using some of the surplus mud; the seedlings are emerging as we type. And we prayed together asking God to help us care for His creation as best we can.
We will meet again on Saturday 15th February 2015 at 3pm to walk, explore and pray about love.