Camping on the Quad: The Awe and Aesthetics of Nature



Date(s) - 04/05/2024 - 04/07/2024
All Day

“Camping on the Quad: The Awe and Aesthetics of Nature at Eden Theological Seminary”
April 5th, 6th, and 7th
Come for Eden’s Spring Convocation April 4-5 and stay for
Camping on the Quad, Awe and Aesthetics of Nature
(Register for Spring Convocation separately through this link.)

Urban Chaplain in Residence:
Dr. Danie Buhuro & Dr. Sonja B. Williams

Camping on the Quad aims to center the experience and emotion of awe and engage and explore beyond the boundaries that separate humanity from the beautiful and profane expressions of God in the world. This will be an immersive and experiential opportunity to practice openness, curiosity, awareness, and theological wondering.

Theological aesthetics in its broadest sense is speaking about God. If Christian theology is faith seeking understanding­–an understanding about God, ourselves, and the world in which we live–then theological aesthetics is an attempt to communicate and experience God’s AWE through human thought, words, art and actions, revealing God’s revelation attested by lived experience, cultural wisdom, and our various sacred texts. Aesthetics—or more simply put: finding God in both beauty and the profane—intentionally creating a space of openness to engage the Creator as liberator.

Camping on the Quad is for all ages.

This is for those seeking fun, a deeper dive, and to explore ways to connect to nature and their own sense of spirituality, this is for you.

Bring yourself,
Bring your friends,
Bring your whole congregation.
Bring family and share time and space with them within nature.

Where two or three gather in my name, there I am also…. Come and participate in alternative ways to resist poor theology and embrace expansive sacred spaces.

Friday, April 5
2 PM– Registration and Camp Setup

  • Participants arrive and check in.
  • Set up tents and camping gear.

2:30 PM– Camping 101, Tent Building

  • Welcome Briefing
    • Welcome address and safety briefing.
    • Overview of the weekend’s schedule and important information.

4 PM– Opening Ceremony

5:30 PM– USFS- Urban Connections: Black Faces in Green Spaces

6 PM– DJ & Dinner on the Patio

7 PM– Black Liturgies: Cole Arthur Riley with Book Signing andPodcast Pastor: Kristian A. Smith of the Holy Smokes Movement for a Live Podcast

  • Cole Arthur Riley will be at Eden Seminary Friday April 5th and Christ Church Cathedral Saturday, April 6, 2024. Cole is the best-selling author of “This Here Flesh” and “Black Liturgies.” We’ll be talking healing, community, the sacred self, Black power and Black joy.  Kristian A. Smith of the Holy Smokes Movement will be at Eden to do a Live Podcast.

  • Co-Sponsored by:

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Saturday, April 6

8 AM — Registration and Camp Set Up, Welcome to the Day’s Activities, Breakfast Available

8:30 AM– Sunrise Shinrin-Yoku (Nature Therapy & Forest Bathing)

  • Enjoy sunrise nature therapy with gentle tai chi/qi gong movement for a dousing of embodied spirituality with eco-theologian and certified ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy) guide, Laura Weber, Ph.D.  Nature therapy stimulates the full sensorium, awakens awe, and offers participants restorative breath exercise while sharpening attention and focus. Practicing this traditional Japanese art of mindful immersion in nature offers a wide range of physical benefits and psychological healing, from lowering BP, heart rate, cortisol, stress, anxiety, and anger, to a boosted immune system with an increase in NK (natural killer) cell activity, improved quantity and quality of sleep, less pain, ability to cope with chronic pain, and increased feelings of well-being, gratitude and contentment. It’s a morning soak for the senses.

10 AM– Do Trees Tell a Story?
With Rebecca Hankin,

11 AM– Tree Wrapping Ceremony

AFTERNOON – Homecoming and Tailgating

12 – 1:30 PM– Lunch (Food, Relaxation at the Campsite, Games)
1:30 – 3 PM– Workshops, Demonstrations, Tabling

  • Youth Corner – Art in Nature
  • Follow Along Painting
  • Live Alumni Podcast
  • Games

3 PM– Free Time and Exploration
3:30 PM– Gather on the Quad
4 PM– Hush Harbors and Sacred Groves: A Conversation about Historical Resources for African American Congregations Outdoors

  • As part of Eden’s “Awe and the Aesthetics of Nature” event, you are invited to join Eden professor Christopher Grundy and Gabrielle Kennedy, Eden alum, pastor of Buren Chapel AME Church, and Interim Director of Faith HEALS, for a wisdom-sharing conversation about hush harbors, historical connections with African sacred groves, and the spirituality of congregations reclaiming the outdoors.

5 PM– Music, Road to Freedom Land
with Dr. Drew Hines, Missouri Department of Conservation “Relational Value”
6 PM– Dinner and Campfire Gathering

6:30 PM– The Movement ft Candice Hogue concert

8 PM– Dreaming Salon, InPower

Sunday, April 7

9 AM– Break Down Camp

10 AM–  Peace United Church of Christ Worship Service