Creating Sacred Spaces – Do We Really Need Churches?

I am starting a series on Creating Sacred Space and decided to begin by reposting this very popular post from last year which is adapted from my book Return to Our Senses. What is sacred space for you? Where do you you feel closest to God? How can nurture such spaces? If you would like to contribute a post for this series please let me know.


Our annual Celtic retreat is coming. We hold it in August on a beautiful parcel of undeveloped land on Camano Island north of Seattle. There are no buildings. Our sanctuary is a cathedral of trees – cedar and maple and alder that rise above is in a breathtaking green canopy. I particularly love to sit in the early mornings before anyone else is awake, drinking in the beauty of God’s awe inspiring creation. This is a sacred space for me, what is often called a thin space where the veil between heaven and earth seems to be translucent and the glory of God shines through in a special way.

Special places where we feel almost physically embraced by the love of God are important places of prayer for all of us. Be they a comfortable old armchair we return to day by day, a special place to walk or a…

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19 Responses

  1. […] Creating Sacred Spaces – Do We Really Need Churches? […]

  2. Not just to be different about this subject but I look other places. Certainly the solitude of places blessed by God are a wonderful part of life where you can withdraw from the assault of the social world and reflect on what is occurring, what has occurred and what will occur. but is it truly of value if it were not for those times that you must deal with the variety of living amongst others? What good is it to muse without the experiences to consider? As Emerson might say, Be not the hermit or the social animal at all times, but use both experiences to enrich your mind and body. The forest one day and the café the next, from a mountaintop sunrise to the neon city lights; they do compliment and complete each other. Sacred is where the soul goes, not just what is there as prior.

    • Love that comment – sacred is where the soul goes. I agree wholeheartedly. I am looking forward to some other contributions over the next few about creating sacred space in places like cafes. Perhaps you would like to contribute something

      • Not so much of a writer here, it would probably be better to just continue with comments as they come to mind. I do remember as a youngster in Chicago, some of my favorite things to do would be to go to those parts of the city where most would not. Have you ever experienced taking a date to go sit on the curb in a lesser part of town and discuss life with the local denizens? This too was holy ground at those times.

      • What a wonderful suggestion – this is not something that would have occurred to me. I have found though that interacting with homeless people – really sitting down and giving them your full attention and finding out about their lives can be a type of holy ground experience

      • And so it has always been! We can even extend that now to include other ethnic groups, other cultures, other nations. Though it may not be a face to face experience; when dialoguing with friends all over the word, finding new experiences through their thoughts and expanding my mind with different ideas,makes my computer one more holy place. I often wonder if it is the place itself or the activities and exchanges that create what we call sacred.

  3. A very good thought God – or maybe it is just that we are discovering as early Christians were very aware, that the whole of creation is indeed translucent and the glory of God shine through every experience and every encounter.

    • You say it much more eloquently than I.
      Is a place made more sacred by the presence of others or by the absence of others?

  4. An interesting question. Sacred space can be either/both a place for solitude and contemplation and a place for community and fellowship. Did you see my post Every garden needs a sacred space in which I talk about the different types and purposes of sacred spaces?

  5. […] the last few days there has been an interesting discussion on my previous post Creating Sacred Spaces: Do We Really Need Churches? which has raised the question for me, and obviously for many others: What is a sacred […]

  6. […] post in the series Creating a Sacred Space Do We Really Need Churches comes from Ryan Harrison. Ryan is from Denver, Colorado. When she’s not at her day job, she […]

  7. […] morning’s post in the series Creating Sacred Space Do We Need Churches? is written by Lynne M Baab. Lynne is the author of numerous books on Christian spiritual […]

  8. […] post in the series Creating Sacred Space Do We Need Churches? comes from Richard Dahlstrom. Richard is the author of “The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of […]

  9. […] post in the series Creating Sacred Space Do We Need Churches?  is contributed by The. Rev. Daniel Simons, Priest and Director of Liturgy, Hospitality, and […]

  10. […] Creating Sacred Space Do We Really Need Churches  […]

  11. […] Creating Sacred Space Do We Really Need Churches  […]

  12. […] Creating Sacred Space Do We Really Need Churches  […]

  13. […] It is reposted this morning as part of the series Creating Sacred Spaces Do We Really Need Churches.  […]

  14. […] It is reposted as part of the series Creating Sacred Spaces Do We Really Need Churches.  […]

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