Rev. Matthew Syrdal M.Div, is the Associate Pastor for Spiritual Formation at Grace Presbyterian Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, founder and lead guide of WilderSoul TM and Church of Lost Walls TM. Matt is a speaker, artist and writer who has offered workshops at APCE in Chicago and Orlando and retreats in the front range mountains of Colorado. Matt has studied ancient Christian Rites of Initiation, has studied World Religions, anthropology and rites-of-passage, and is completing training through Animas Valley Institute as a nature-based human development guide. Matt has spent several years developing Celtic and indigenous Christian practices oriented towards nature-based leadership, liturgy, retreats, and group immersions, for the cultivation of greater wholeness, and deepening soul work for greater service to the world.
One of the most formative memories of my childhood happened in the uncultivated wild woods behind my house where I grew up. A small creek formed a natural boundary between my half-acre life and a much larger conversation that was inviting me across a split log bridge, past the compost bin on the other side of the stream - into a living world that wanted to become lost with me in a deeper imagination. I can still feel the damp air, the pungent smell of old decomposing giant tree stumps and leaves, the feel of thick wet moss between my fingers, the mystery of...
Matt offers retreat leadership for churches, groups, and faith organizations that have discerned the call to rewild their organization or ministry in worship, sacraments, spiritual practices, education, and service-oriented outreach. Leadership is experiential and practical with the goal of cultivating greater interpersonal and intrapersonal wholeness through nature-based practices and group work.
Half Day (3 hrs) - $250
Full Day (6 hrs) - $500
Workshops / Speaking
Matt provides dynamic, insightful, engaging and practical speaking opportunities for churches, organizations and conferences seeking to deepen into the greater conversation and urgent exploration of issues related to eco-theology and deep incarnational theology, wholeness based and soul-rooted leadership development, and the adaptive challenges for the church in the 21st century.
Workshop (1.5 hrs) $175; (3 hrs) - $250; guest preaching (or 1 hr speaking) $200;
mentoring in wholeness & healing
Are you interested in cultivating deeper wholeness? Have you identified areas in your life in which you feel stuck or wounded? Are you aware of aspects of yourself, overriding narratives or sub personalities, that emotionally hijack you, making you react in ways which prevent you from living from your deeper authentic self, your wholeness? Do you feel burnt out, or frustrated in difficult relationships at work or home? Have you experienced moments of feeling fully alive, a generative and empathic presence within you, a creative call of the wild, a deeper poetry of soul that you would like to explore or pursue?
Matt offers resources and mentoring for individuals interested in cultivating their original wholeness - encountering and living from True Self. Nature-based practices rooted in Celtic and indigenous Christian spirituality include: dreamwork, exploring deep imagery, mirroring, and guided invitations to personal ceremony. If you are interested you may arrange a Skype appointments, personal visits, or a wander on the land.
Sliding scale fee $50-75 / hour
Intensive / immersions
In partnership with other wilderness guides such as Animas Valley Institute, Matt guides intensives and immersions during the year for church organizations and religious leadership and also for those who consider themselves "spiritual but not religious" from a wide variety of spiritual traditions. Contact Matt directly for more information.
“We explore contemporary approaches to native and Celtic paths of spirituality within the Christ tradition, seeking belonging, wholeness, transformation, and deeper service to the world.”
And it will be in the last days, God says, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh… and your young people will see visions, and your elders will dream dreams.
There were two dreams I had carried with me since childhood. Even then I suspected that these dreams somehow carried something of great value, a message. Yet they spoke to me in a language I couldn't quite understand - a language I wasn't ready to understand yet. I did not yet have a community, elders or mentors
to help me develop a relationship with this new and yet very, very old language. Though my own Scriptures reveal a God who speaks to his people primarily through dreams, images, and visions I somehow missed the memo... the invitation, really, from that other world the Christian mystics call soul.
The soul lives contented / by listening, / if it wants to change/ into the beauty of / terrifying shapes / it tries to speak. / That’s why / you will not sing, / afraid as you are / of who might join with you. - David Whyte