Church of the Woods

I recently had the pleasure to make photographs for one of Matt Hongoltz-Hetling’s stories about climate change for the Weather Channel’s web site. He is finding different approaches to the topic in each of the Northern New England states. In Canterbury, N.H., Matt profiled Rev. Steve Blackmer and his unique Church of the Woods. Blackmer and his congregation were very generous and accommodating with me. Editor Patty Cox and her team did a wonderful job presenting Matt’s story — follow this link to take a look!

From top: Rev. Steve Blackmer closes his morning service at Church of the Woods in Canterbury, N.H., with a blessing. The Episcopal church, established in 2014, holds two services outdoors every Sunday; Rain drops linger on an evergreen branch at Church of the Woods; Rick Coffin, of Barnstead, N.H., left, and Wes Jones, of Loudon, N.H., hold hands and sing a hymn with others during the afternoon service. Both attend St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield, N.H., and had met Blackmer while he was doing his Episcopal training; Blackmer made a mid-career change to the ministry after working as a land conservation professional, establishing the church on 106 acres in 2014; Blackmer leads the congregation in the singing of a hymn. Blackmer has started the Wild Church Network for other churches who worship outdoors. “It’s a little movement,” he said. “But it is a movement.”

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