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Photo of the Day: ‘For us this is church’

Emmalie+Hall-Skank%2C+a+senior+from+Streamwood+studying+interior+design%2C+gazes+up+from+inside+a+bamboo+forest+Sunday%2C+March+5%2C+2017%2C+during+an+afternoon+hike+with+members+of+the+Southern+Illinois+Pagan+Alliance+at+the+Marberry+Arboretum+off+Pleasant+Hill+Road+in+Carbondale.+The+group+hike+was+organized+by+Tara+Nelson%2C+founder+of+SIPA+and+a+2002+SIU+graduate.+%22Because+%5BPaganism%5D+is+a+nature-based+spiritual+practice%2C+for+us%2C+this+is+church%2C%22+said+Nelsen.+%22Being+able+to+watch+this+change+of+the+seasons+and+recognize+that+this+so+much+a+part+of+human+existence%2C+like+seriously%2C+this+is+church.+For+us%2C+being+out+in+nature+is+more+sacred+than+any+building+ever+could+be.%22+Although+this+was+SIPA%27s+first+group+hike+of+2017%2C+Nelson+said+she+plans+to+facilitate+more+group+activities+in+the+coming+months.
Emmalie Hall-Skank, a senior from Streamwood studying interior design, gazes up from inside a bamboo forest Sunday, March 5, 2017, during an afternoon hike with members of the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance at the Marberry Arboretum off Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. The group hike was organized by Tara Nelson, founder of SIPA and a 2002 SIU graduate.

Emmalie Hall-Skank, a senior from Streamwood studying interior design, gazes up from inside a bamboo forest Sunday, March 5, 2017, during an afternoon hike with members of the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance at the Marberry Arboretum off Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. The group hike was organized by Tara Nelson, founder of SIPA and a 2002 SIU graduate. "Because [Paganism] is a nature-based spiritual practice, for us, this is church," said Nelsen. "Being able to watch this change of the seasons and recognize that this so much a part of human existence, like seriously, this is church. For us, being out in nature is more sacred than any building ever could be." Although this was SIPA's first group hike of 2017, Nelson said she plans to facilitate more group activities in the coming months.

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

(Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

Emmalie Hall-Skank, a senior from Streamwood studying interior design, gazes up from inside a bamboo forest Sunday, March 5, 2017, during an afternoon hike with members of the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance at the Marberry Arboretum off Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. The group hike was organized by Tara Nelson, founder of SIPA and a 2002 SIU graduate. "Because [Paganism] is a nature-based spiritual practice, for us, this is church," said Nelsen. "Being able to watch this change of the seasons and recognize that this so much a part of human existence, like seriously, this is church. For us, being out in nature is more sacred than any building ever could be." Although this was SIPA's first group hike of 2017, Nelson said she plans to facilitate more group activities in the coming months.

By Morgan Timms

Emmalie Hall-Skank, a senior from Streamwood studying interior design, gazes up from inside a bamboo forest Sunday during an afternoon hike with members of the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance at the Marberry Arboretum off Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.

The group hike was organized by Tara Nelsen, founder of SIPA and a 2002 SIU graduate.

“Because [paganism] is a nature-based spiritual practice, for us this is church,” said Nelsen. “Being able to watch this change of the seasons and recognize that this so much a part of human existence, like seriously, this is church. For us, being out in nature is more sacred than any building ever could be.”

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Although this was SIPA’s first group hike of 2017, Nelsen said she plans to facilitate more group activities in the coming months.

Staff photographer Morgan Timms can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @morgan_timms.

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