How can we serve together as the hands and feet of Christ? Both in the mission field right outside our doors and in lands far away, we stand together to love God by loving others and meeting their needs.
As followers of Jesus, we are committed to participating in the transformation of this world in the direction of becoming the kingdom of God.
A church-sponsored community garden can be the kingdom-creating mustard seed of which Jesus speaks in the parable. It can be a locus of personal and relational transformation for each person who serves in and is served by the garden. It can be a catalyst for community transformation as entire neighborhoods, towns, and cities recognize our responsibility and ability to order our lives and communities around God’s commandment to love one another in tangible ways. In and through the community garden, there is mustard seed potential. There is potential for hungry people to become food secure, for lonely people to become connected to others, and for diverse people to develop mutual love and understanding. Community gardens give us the opportunity to spread the good news of God’s saving and liberating love and to grow in our own discipleship by cooperating with God in the ongoing transformation of ourselves, our churches, our communities, and all of creation.
Explore the best practices and start-up guide for community gardens by downloading our Launch Guide. Coaching and mentoring between churches who desire to know more about this powerful ministry is available.
by Rev. Claire Gager
It was fair time! The excitement was in the air and the smells of fair food were mixing with the various animals for 4-H. This was my first time at the Madison County Fair. Big for a county fair, it had the food, games, concerts, fair rides and much more to explore.
What I was there for was something different though. I had seen in our newsletter that my two churches sponsored something called a Baby Comfort Station. My goal was to find it. It was easy to find, sitting just under a tree within the boundaries of a playground area. There's a two-room green tent: I entered into the tent not knowing what I would find. In one side of the tent, I found a table and chairs upon which set a welcome sign and some VBS brochures. The other side of the tent was where God's loving grace was shown.
The people of the churches had set up a baby changing area, a rocking chair, playpen, covered trash can, ice chest full of water, baby changing materials such as diapers and wipes, and a fan. This station was designed for mothers and fathers to be able to take their little ones in and do what was needed to take care of them. I myself used the station twice while at the fair once to change my child's diaper and once to feed her.
Over the week I also got to meet the people that would utilize the tent when I went to check on it. I met a wonderful young mother who had just had her baby two weeks ago who was sitting in the dark with the fan on feeding her child. And I met several families who while taking care of their baby were letting their other young children play.
Scripture says let the little children come to me and what a wonderful way to welcome young families while helping parents take care of the smallest of these.
The tent blew down and broke in a storm on one of the last nights of the fair this year. But the spirit of love is still strong. What can we do to make it better? The churches are already being asked if it will return next year.