First Church of Trees

“People who say that human beings are the superior species seem to have forgotten about trees or have overrated their own mobility.” Pastor Leif admits that his church in tiny Kuusikylä, Finland, is not the first group, by far, to worship trees or deities associated with trees. “Egyptian, Philippine, Maori, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Chinese, Japanese, Gallic, Greek, and Estonian, they all recognized the sacred qualities of trees.” “I could preach nonstop for weeks on the superiority of trees,” claimed Leif. “Consider their longevity; consider their determination, that each tree holds its ground; consider their adaptability and range, the beauty of each tree either grand or small. Isn’t that a lesson, that each one, however humble, has a beauty and a life force? Consider how each one benefits its ecosystem. This is not to ignore science. Consider how trees provide shelter for birds and squirrels. Consider that trees are nonviolent, non-possessive, and utterly honest. Some people accuse me of being a bit silly about trees. I admit it. But I won’t abuse you with descriptions of spirits and goddesses associated with trees, or stories of talking trees. One thing I admire most about trees— they never bore you with sermons.”