One of the things I love about the new year is the daily arrival of all the latest seed catalogues. Browsing through these highly coloured booklets with their mouth watering array of new vegetables and dazzling new flowers is a great cure for the post Christmas blues. The only trouble is that the temptation to purchase more than we could grow in the next ten years is huge.
As well as beginning to plan the garden for the coming year, I am also working on a schedule for spirituality of gardening seminars. Most of these will be in the Pacific Northwest but I am delighted that I have an opportunity to hold one in New York and possibly also Connecticut this year. If you are interested in other locations let me know and I will see what is possible. With the continued growth of the community garden movement this is a great way to inspire our faith in conjunction with our garden experiences.
Cultivation of the land and gardening are woven through the Biblical story. Genesis 2 says that God “planted” a garden. God didn’t speak it into being in this case but knelt in the ground and literally molded it out of the mud and dirt. Is it significant that God planted a garden for humans to live in—a garden that we were commanded to cultivate—instead of a self-sustained wilderness or a prosperous city?
The garden has seemingly unending lessons to teach us about the character of God and what it means to be a person of faith. Do you struggle to connect to the story of God through morning devotions and Sunday worship ? I believe one reason people are moving away from Christianity at time warp speed is because we have divorced our faith from the glory of God revealed through the natural world. Nothing makes me more aware of this than working in the garden. I read about the death and resurrection of Christ in the Bible, but I experience it every time I plant a seed and watch it burst into life. I read about the faithfulness of God to Israel but I experience it every time I watch the rain fall and nourish the seeds I have planted. I read about the miracle of the fish and the loaves but I experience a miracle every time I am overwhelmed by the generosity of God’s harvest.
In the spirituality of gardening workshops we will discuss the wonderful ways that God is revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing and harvesting in the garden. Come prepared to get your hands dirty as we will spend some time in the garden or in the greenhouse if the weather is inclement.
So save the date for the event closest to you:
February 5th – Mt Vernon WA (full day)
March 5th – Mustard Seed House Seattle (full day)
March 25th – St Albans Church Edmonds(half day)
April 30th Hood River Oregon (Full day)
May 1st – Portland Oregon (half day)
May 7th – Connecticut (tentative)
May 14th – New York