The first ever Spirituality of Gardening seminar held at the Mustard Seed house is over and I am feeling exhausted but delighted. What began as a few blog posts and an interest in discovering the connections between my faith and my garden is becoming an important aspect of my ministry. I am awed at the way that God has made this possible and has brought together all the different elements.
We had 25 people gather at the house from as far afield as Texas and British Columbia. Most of the focus was on how to grow organic vegetables. We walked the garden, shared our garden and faith stories and even planted seeds and shared recipes. We were able to video it too so hopefully it will be available as a DVD in the not too distant future.
The highlight for me was to see how others had experienced God through their gardening. One woman had just gone through a messy divorce and was very aware of the healing power of God whom she encountered as she knelt and weeded the garden. Another participant commented that as we planted the seeds she was struck by the fact that alone the seed, the soil, the water and the air were inert. It was only as we brought all these elements together that God gave them life and enabled the seed to grow. How like the way God acts in our lives we reflected. Seeds can often lie dormant within us until the right time when God brings them into a situation in which they are planted, watered and given air – a little like the way I feel about the fruit of this garden seminar.
This seems to be such an appropriate way for Christians to respond both as individuals and as churches to the recession. Not only can we help provide for ourselves but through the generous bounty of God’s harvest we are able to provide for others as well.
I am really looking forward to the next one at the end of May and to the possibility of others in the future in other parts of the country. The garden journal which was given to each participant has grown so that it is now more like a book than a journal. We are hoping to have it available as a pdf file that can be purchased online, by the end of the week.