woman with birds
Those who value nature for all it is seek not to harness its power and bounty, but to sustain its worth and beauty.

The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC Rev. Torre Huffines. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@ulc.org.

Nature-based faith is a term used to describe a group of different faiths that all share a major component; the environment. Just like Abrahamic faith groups that include numerous subgroups all nature-based religions and spiritual practices unite in the aspects of nature that entwine themselves with everyday living. There are a handful of subcultures that comprise nature-based faiths. This includes traditional Paganism, Druidism, Santeria, Voudon, and Taoism but is not limited to just these primary groups which are relatively well known. Many less-known but equally valuable subgroups include Candomblé, ancient Polynesian traditions, Shinto, and aboriginal traditions. The list can almost seem never-ending! The important factor is what they share in common and not how they contrast geographically.

In the study of Anthropology, many of these groups are classified as non-western religions or cultural-spiritual practices on the basis of having more in common with eastern philosophy and spirituality. This distinction is in part because of the core values of most eastern philosophies and cultures which tend to share a high affinity for the natural world as the pagan or other kind of nature spiritualist. These beliefs typically include a regard for nature, duality, ancestry, animism, rebirth, the presence of an afterlife, and many more acts and concepts that seek to use faith to engage with life. Nature-based faiths do not always look alike. Even more so, the exercises of one's own spiritual practice may surely differ from person to person, but the quality and output of the individual that worships nature remains constant in carrying out the relationship between culture, individualism, and spirituality. We may surely encounter varying models of spirituality on the individual level but can find the fixed example of such faiths and religious concepts by observing the collective example of the communities and cultures involved.

Those who value nature for all it is seek not to harness its power and bounty, but to sustain its worth and beauty. They recognize their own singular role among the many other life forms that reside within the earth's forest, oceans, rivers, and mountains. In addition to environmentally based values are the traditions of the culture supporting the individual. Such traditions stem from the role of ancestry and respect paid to those who came before which also gave their descendants the understanding of nature that carries over from history into modern practices. These values of the nature spiritualist are those that align life with the direction and rhythm of nature- a coming and going of life and time. the value in viewing nature as something sacred comes easily to many of us as we see qualities of life embodied by the environment. Nature teaches us to live unapologetically in harmony with change.

Our traditions are those acts and rites that are found sacred, perhaps not to the world entirely, but certainly to our own culture, country, or family. Along the way to honoring our ancestors, our traditions fill in the spaces between and seemingly anchor us in our present moment of life with all of those memories, celebrations, and historic events of the past that our ancestors experienced. We may now see just how ancestry, traditions, culture, and natural faith all play into the larger spectrum of the life we live by uniting those most intimate parts of our identity and giving them an expression based in the collective sentiment of our personally unique journeys among the natural world.


  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    I agree because I am a pagan ordained minister

    1. Dolly Matheny's Avatar Dolly Matheny

      I am also!

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    So what. If someone decides to believe in the Druid way of life, thats up to them.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    As a ULC Bishop, with a DD, and several other monastery.com doctorates, whose been twice sainted by the ULC, it was gratifying to find that others, besides me, know that “mother and father nature” (collectively called nature) control everything in the Cosmos, and this osmos is synonymous with God.

    Thomas Jefferson called this “Nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence; Spinoza called nature God, and when Einstein was asked his view, of God — he responded “ my God is the God of Spinoza.”

    Ergo, this is known as Pantheism — and Pantheism is the only philosophy that has a provable God — which means that anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the Pantheist God is an atheist.

    Get it? A provable God trumps all other fake Gods, who are fake, because there’s no proof that any of them exist.

    The Monastery should offer a doctorate in Pantheism, so that I can enhance my epistemological credentials.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I’m curious William if you ever find it a struggle to find a hat that fits. No matter, you do have me wondering though as to which Pantheistic deity you believe exists, and what demonstrable evidence there is for it?


      1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

        Prove that nature exists? Why anyone who’s still not in a coma needs for me to prove this, has to be one of the most ridiculous challenges I’ve ever experience.

        We have our Earth; which is in our Solar system; which is in the Milky Way galaxy; which is in our universe; and all of the universe’s comprise the cosmos.

        Nature, God, and the cosmos, are all parts of the same thing — and the non-science GOP types amongst us, find it the easiest just to call everything in nature, God — and a Christian God at that.

        The more that one is uninformed about science, the more one relies on a God, or Gods, to explain how, where, when and why nature existed in the first place, and nature will continue to exist, for ever and ever, till it ends, then starts beginning again, for ever and ever, “ah women.”

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          I totally agree that nature, and our cosmology, exists and is real. As to whether any deity exists and is real....well....are fairies real?🤷🏻‍♂️


    2. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

      So there are many gods and goddesses not just one gods. The one God believe was created by Julius Caesar so that everyone would believe in only one God

    3. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      Remember it was Einstein who coined the term the God factor. Only to be proven wrong by a Belgium Priest who discovered the Big Bang. Einstein thought he was wrong. Nope, the priest was right, there is No God particle, but there was a Big Bang. The physics of the Big Bang is responsible for GPS and computers. Our understanding of the Big Bang directly responsible for the creation of the transistor and GPS systems. God particle not needed.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I'm sure that Carl, and many others that embrace Pagan religions, will love this topic. Hopefully all of us can embrace the beauty, majesty, and unfortunately at times, destruction, that nature can bring. With it though comes the sciences of Botany and Geology, among many other natural sciences that has opened up wonder for mankind. How nice that most of us in temperate climates can all enjoy some of the comforts of nature, and hopefully bask in its beauty. 🌞🌈🌸🌹


  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    No, there is only one true science, and that is science. Scientology is a fraud.

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    Only observation I will add, as a modern Heathen, I do not see our religion as Nature Based, so much as World Accepting.

  1. Dolly Matheny's Avatar Dolly Matheny

    Isn’t the point in any religion or spirituality to be kind to one another? I’m not getting the kindness in some of the comments. To each their own! Remember, we are all free to choose what we believe and how we what to believe it. Free from judgment and persecution. It is a free world. We are supposed to be loving and supportive toward one another. Judge not one another. No one is perfect or lives a perfect life or spiritual path! We are all here in this life to learn a lesson, does it have to be a hateful one constantly? Why can’t it be one of peace, love, and light? Your world is what you make it! Just saying. Stay positive!

    1. Celene Breianne Cagle's Avatar Celene Breianne Cagle

      I'm a new member of the monastery, I have been reading these articles and their comments. And this comment is the best reading I have had so far. I agree completely and actually posted something similar in another article. Thank you for your intelligent & educated message. I was beginning to think I was in the wrong place.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Isn't this science?

    1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher


    2. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

      Comment removed by user.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Which Pantheistic deity? — who says Pantheists (who know that God, nature and the Cosmos, are all different classifications of the same thing) — who says that Pantheism requires a deity?

    It doesn’t— yet Pantheism (Secular) embraces all that exists, anywhere — doesn’t require praising, or giving money to anything, hating, or loving anything, nor attending any services.

    To be a Pantheist, merely requires members to reject supernaturalism, have fun, and to realize that in the Cosmos, everything is interdependent, and that collectively, everything that exists is one self-contained living organism, constantly changing, and never ending.

    You, me, my dog, and everything else, is God, Nature or the Cosmos, — in other words, whichever ever word works best for the one using the term. However there’s absolutely nothing supernatural that any human mind can comprehend, nor are there any such things as miracles — Holy Ghosts, Virgin Mary’s, etc.

    Just everything that exists, la, la, la ing along, interacting for eternity, without any purpose, trying to be happy (whatever that requires).

  1. Lawrence Albert Taylor II's Avatar Lawrence Albert Taylor II

    The native Americans have been practicing nature and spirit beliefs since the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Without nature our ancestors would have starved to death . So yes I agree as Wedding Officiants or what ever you want to be called. Keep an open mind and embrace it . As long as it can help the next generation make the world better I'm all for it

  1. Ruchard R. Mason's Avatar Ruchard R. Mason

    I believe that what a few have been referring to is Naturism. The ability to accept nature, respect nature and the natural world as God-given, identify it as such, respect those that practice Naturism. Naturism is best practiced without clothing being worn. When nude in the outdoor environment, one quickly experiences the vulnerability of oneself to that environment and the importance of respecting and protecting that same environment..

    All religions are spiritually based. As Cardinal Newman of the Roman Catholic Church stated: If you find a religion that you understand, then you have found a "man-made religion."

    Richard Camerlengo Mason

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