The Guild of St. Naucratius held their first annual fishing retreat this month at St. Crispin's. Over 50 people attended from across the Diocese! The retreat's goal was to teach folks how to fish, what it takes to manage the fishing habitats, and get folks connected to God in nature.
This retreat served to help manage the wildlife habitats in the St. Crispin's ponds. The Rev. Sarah Smith, leader of the Guild of St. Naucratius worked with the Wildlife Department marine biologists to do a survey of the lakes to see how many fish were in the area, what species they were and what their size were in the lakes that way they could come up with a management plan for the lakes.
Sarah brought this guild to Oklahoma in hope to spread awareness about feeding those in need with wildgame and empower people with resources and knowledge about how to do that in their own communities. She had a primary goal in mind for this year's retreat which was to teach folks how to fish, what it takes to manage the fishing habitats and get folks connected to God in nature. She also wanted to show folks where their food comes from and empower them to harvest their own food for their families and communities. 50+ people attended from all over the Diocese, specifically from Ada, Shawnee, Lawton, Norman, Yukon, OKC, Tulsa, and Clinton.
St. Naucratius teaches a theology of Creation care that focuses on humanity's interconnectedness with the natural world. Humans were created from the earth and our disconnection from it does great spiritual harm to us and all of creation. The guild's hope is to connect folks back to their true nature to live in harmony with the land and it's creatures so that we could participate fully in the life of God on earth. The stewardship of our natural resources is a spiritual practice and a moral obligation. Hunting, fishing, cultivating, killing, cooking and eating together are the most natural parts of human life that God created to sustain us and nourish us.
Sarah shared with us a highlight from the weekend, "Seeing the kids get hooked on fishing a a real highlgiht. A kid from Christ Church Tulsa caught a 4lb bass. We had a kids derby and gave the top 3 weights in fish a fully loaded tackle box. We also had a really fun time getting to talk to the Game Wardens from Seminole and Okfuskee county. They had a lot of cool stories to share and great information about wildlife in Oklahoma."
Sarah commented on what is next for the guild, "I hope to keep doing retreats and events to harvest wildgame to feed people. I want to spread awareness about feeding those in need with wildgame and empower people with resources and knowledge about how to do that in their own communities. We are in talks with St. Crispin's about managing the deer population this winter with some experienced hunters. The herd out there is overgrown and the deer are very skinny and malnourished. This is a sign of overpopulation and not enough food. We also hope to do another more rugged fishing retreat at Grand Lake with the churches up there during the Spring spawn."