gardening

Kaeley McEvoy 04-07-2015
An empty tomb. Image via ehrlif/shutterstock.com

An empty tomb. Image via ehrlif/shutterstock.com

I’ve celebrated Easter before. My whole life I’ve dressed up, colored eggs, gone to church.  

But this year was different. This year, I realized resurrection.  

I’m not sure how the realization came.

Maybe it came because this was the first time I gardened. My mother once said, “Gardening is prayer.” I never believed her until I physically saw the transformation of dead earth into mustard greens and zucchini plants. I never realized how good the pulse of the sun felt on my back after months of gray. I never saw seeds push through the darkness of soil and become new life — until this year, when I realized resurrection.

Maybe it came because this was the first time I’ve ever felt depression. This winter was the first time there were no windows in the tomb. The first time I held myself crying in the shower wondering if the emptiness would stop. This year was the first time I saw Lent as a season to sit in deep sadness. The first time I realized that Mary Magdalene sat at the tomb simply because she was just so sad.

Maybe it came because this was the first time I’ve fully embraced a Christian community. The first time I’ve intimately walked through the liturgical season with the same people. The first time I shared the miracle of Christmas and the deep sadness of Lent in the eyes of other vulnerable humans. The first time I’ve attended an entire week of Holy Week services. The first time I sat in the dark on Good Friday after service ended and cried.

This year, I realized resurrection and I’m not exactly sure why.

Rebecca Kraybill 06-04-2014

Katerina Friesen

Katerina Friesen, a seminary student, knows the labor of love of land-based ministry.

Leah Kostamo 01-05-2014

Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community by Leah Kostamo

Michaela Bruzzese 12-09-2013

A school garden project helps kids learn about plants—and Catholic social teaching about caring for the environment.

Andrea Ferich 11-05-2013

Monsignor Michael Doyle of Sacred Heart Church in Camden, N.J.

Bury the Dead: Stories of Death and Dying, Resistance and Discipleship, edited by Laurel Dykstra

Debra Rubin 05-16-2013
Photo courtesy Robert Nevel/KAM

Volunteers harvest vegetables at KAM Isaiah Israel in Chicago. Photo courtesy Robert Nevel/KAM

The Rev. Morris G. Henderson wasn’t sure what do with a vacant city block of land behind his 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond, Va. The church had purchased the plots, but didn’t have the funding to build a planned family life center.

Then, he had a vision.

“Why not build a garden and people can learn to be self-sufficient and we can grow food?” Henderson said.

With an 80-year-old congregant heading the project, the congregation planted its first garden in 2008: watermelons, tomatoes, okra, squash, strawberries, and blueberries.

By the second year, even after the gardening chief had passed away, congregants were getting guidance from the Virginia Cooperative Extension; this year, the church has at least two dozen raised beds, with the bulk of the harvest used for the church’s Monday-Friday soup kitchen.

Catherine Maresca 07-01-2012

Nurturing the life of children, from stage to stage.

Steve Jerbi 06-11-2012
Darius Simmons. Photo courtesy of All Peoples Church.

Darius Simmons. Photo courtesy of All Peoples Church.

"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." 
~ John 12:24

When tragedies loom so large, it is difficult to keep a perspective on the small things, to view things on a human scale.

We are trained to see the harvest and ignore the seed. We look at end results for the quick post and tweet. The planting, the watering, the tending is too tedious. Show me the aisles of glowing produce under the florescent lights and keep the dirt and the sweat away. Show me the abundance and not the labor.

And yet, every fruit and vegetable and grain begins as a seed. It begins in the smallest of things.

Soon, the story of Darius Simmons will become larger than life. A story that has picked up some media attention will no doubt soar – for a moment – as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH continue to walk with his family and call for justice. This is their work and their calling and I bless them for it. I am thankful for it.

Darius’ story is a sensational one – full of racial tension and violence. It is a refrain sung over and over in our nation, the dissonant chorus that reminds us of our nation’s original sin.

Korla Masters 06-01-2012

Detroiters often use the phoenix rising from the ashes as a metaphor for the city's resilience. Worms might be just as apt a symbol this time around.

Jim Wallis 10-20-2011

It's time to move from a narrowly defined shareholder economy to a stakeholder economy that includes workers, consumers, the environment , and future generations -- all in our economic calculations and decision-making.

Steve Holt 06-24-2011
Sitting in church the other night, I thought about Jackson Helms.
Steve Holt 12-13-2010
We Americans hate to wait. Whatever we want, we want it now. Pay-per-view. One-click shopping. Smart phones. Drive-through restaurants.
Tracey Bianchi 05-27-2010
"So what are you up to this summer?" seems to be the question du jour. With the calendar about to flip into June everyone seems antsy for a summer plan.
Tracey Bianchi 04-09-2010
I was reminded of a little gardening tip last week that has my dear husband Joel rolling his eyes. Joel is a good sport.
Tracey Bianchi 09-02-2009

Organic strawberries were $5.99 the other day at our local grocer. $5.99! Their more toxic twins, the non-organic variety, were on sale for $3. Darn this pesticide-free living. I stood staring at that clamshell of bruised strawberries and fought with myself. The farmers market was still three days away. I really wanted those berries.

Steve Holt 06-01-2009
For the first time in my life, I have a garden.
Meet Stephen Bartlett, an urban gardener and educator in Louisville, Kentucky.

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