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What we’re about


What differentiates MOSS from other outdoor groups?  We not only seek adventure but understand that by getting into wilderness the discovery is spiritual as much as physical.  It is our belief that God can be found at work in creation-that there is something within us that reacts to what can be experienced in the natural world. 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made...(Romans 1:20 ).  Our mission is to facilitate a connection between our experience in nature with the Creator.  A unique way that this happens is during an intentional period of solitude on each event, called Withdrawal Time.  This is taken from the example Jesus gave us and found in the Gospels and is extremely beneficial for modern people who spend most of their time indoors and a significant amount of time interacting electronically.  
Luke 5:16   ...Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.The inspiration for the name MOSS originated during time spent in Glacier Bay, Alaska.  Here, glaciers have advanced and retreated several times and with each advance, the ice (like any other natural disaster) destroys and recreates a landscape.  Slowly, with the help of mosses, lichens and other pioneer species, a complete ecosystem is reborn.  
" favorable is this climate for the development of tree seeds and so fully do these trees obey the command to multiply and replenish the earth. No wonder these islands are densely clothed with trees. They grow on solid rocks and logs as well as on fertile soil. The surface is first covered with a plush of mosses in which the seeds germinate; then the interlacing roots form a sod, fallen leaves soon cover their feet, and the young trees, closely crowded together, support each other, and the soil becomes deeper and richer from year to year."     

Travels in Alaska, John Muir (1879)
MOSS has an intentionally soft approach to ministry that strives to do the hard work of producing good soil as it bridges the reaction people instinctively have nature to who we know as Creator.

MOSS activities are adventurous and purposefully challenging.  By pushing ourselves beyond what we think we are capable, we gain physical and mental strength and are able to learn to trust God in a unique way. 

By intentionally exposing ourselves to experiences that stretch us, we grow in body, mind and spirit.  Physical challenges can be used to represent our real life difficulties.  For instance, if we achieve a goal in the outdoors such as hiking a peak or kayaking beyond what you thought our limit was, strength can be drawn into your life experiences.  With MOSS, there will be opportunities to push yourself physically and the benefits will be reaped in your everyday life. 

MOSS is an extension of Shannondale Springs Chapel in Harpers Ferry, WV. (
Contact: Peter P. Petretta 304-283-4628