Monthly Archives: May 2013

Presbyterians Tout Community Gardens as ‘Act of Resistance’

It’s one thing to grow a garden to protest and insulate oneself from a genuine concern about food monopolies, but to cloth it with the language of the Gospel because you are so Gospel impoverished that you don’t believe the real Gospel of Scripture (and in fact often deny the resurrection etc.) is wrong and a bit sick.

Juicy Ecumenism - The Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog


By Alan F.H. Wisdom

People who grow tomatoes in a garden patch may regard the endeavor as a mere seasonal pastime; however, panelists at a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) conference discerned deeper theological and political significance. The Rev. Ashley Goff, Minister of Spiritual Formation at Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, DC, exalted “growing as an act of resistance,” “compost as resurrection,” and “eating as an act of remembrance.”

In a presentation of slides and commentary at the April 5 “Food Justice” conference, Goff described her church’s “Sacred Greens” garden that supplies vegetables for the congregation’s “open table” lunch on Sundays. She disdained store-bought produce: “So the tomato pretty much represents hell, right? So the tomato represents migrant workers…. The tomato was actually created to make the trip from California to Harris Teeter [grocery chain] in Virginia. But we are resisting this model of a food system that is just absurd…

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We Will No Longer be a Welcoming Church

Neighborhood Church

We’ve decided to quit being a welcoming church. No kidding. We’re giving it up. It won’t be easy, but we’re committed to it. We’ll have to do it in stages, easing our folks into it step by step. We’ll have to deal with the fear of something new, the challenge of venturing into the unknown. But we’ll do it. It will take motivation, leadership, and constant reminders. But most importantly, it will take total commitment in embracing a new focus.

Like so many churches, we’ve sunk an amazing amount of time and energy into becoming a welcoming church. We changed worship styles, we trained greeters and ushers, we wore name tags, we percolated coffee, we went to workshops on hospitality, we put our friendliest people in the most prominent places on Sunday mornings. But we’ve realized we’ve been misplacing our emphasis. So we’re no longer going to do it.


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