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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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August 12, 2009

God and gardens

An ELCA congregation made it into today's daily Religion News Service report. That caught my attention. RNS contains stories across denominations and faith groups. This one was about congregations turning to gardening—and for a variety of reasons. The lead of the story was from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md. , where Sarah Scherschligt is an associate pastor. Prince of Peace now has tomatoes ready to be picked for a local food kitchen, basil that a member might use in home cooking, and green beans that can be eaten right off the stalk. As you can tell from the previous sentence, the congregation's vegetable garden serves many purposes. It's also great for the children. "Some kid in our congregation planted this seed in a little Dixie cup six months ago and then they come out and they see this is how things grow and this is how God works through nature," Scherschligt said.

Though the RNS report says this is a trend, Lutheran congregations have done this before. Consider whether yours may want to do something like this next year. Or are you already doing a garden? Here are a couple stories we've done in the past about congregational gardening:

"Garden ministry grows more than vegetables"

"Spring planting"

RNS said congregations consider this a way to connect with God, a way to emphasize a simpler life, a way to furnish food through food pantries to the hungry, a way to teach children the joys of creation, a way to literally "go green," and so much more. What are your gardening stories?

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