University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte has been busy over the past few months. Inspired by a study of the text Welcome to Dinner, Church by Verlon Fosner, members of the congregation began dreaming up ideas for a church garden in January of this year. They formed a sub-committee, and after meetings with interested members made it clear that the church garden could become a reality, they got to planning. Planting started in April.
From May to September, weekly work-days were hosted in the garden space. Members of the church and community gathered on Wednesday evenings to plant, weed, and participate in a devotional time. The group used the book, The Green Bible Devotional, to connect their work in the garden with the environmental themes of their faith. Garden committee leader, Sabrina Do Rosario, says that the mission of the garden was always to build and experience community. Reflecting on the weekly multigenerational gatherings, Sabrina says that this has been a success!
Throughout the summer, the fruits of the garden were harvested for various purposes. The church hosted a BLT fellowship meal in which congregation and community members enjoyed tomatoes from their own garden. A “Blessing Table” was then installed in the foyer of the sanctuary. Every week, the table is filled with the harvest of the garden. Congregation and community members are invited to take what they need. Whatever is leftover is donated to a local food pantry.
As the seasons change, there are many more plans for the garden. The church hopes to host a pumpkin patch in October. Additionally, a new environmental study will begin this month. Church members will start meeting on September 11th to read through the text, Climate Justice: A Call to Hope and Action. Book study members will meet in both the community garden discussed above, the congregation’s celebration garden, and a wooded area behind the sanctuary where “worship in the woods” is held each Sunday morning at 8:45am. That’s right. In addition to two gardens on church property, this community holds a weekly worship service in the forest behind their building.
University City United Methodist Church is bringing their faith to life by getting their hands dirty, building community, and learning about the need for climate justice. How are you creatively engaging faith and acting on climate change?
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