This morning while searching Edible Jersey magazine for area farms that sell bulk produce to regular folk like me, I stumbled upon this article by Fran McManus on Princeton Theological Seminary’s “Farminary.” This is a farm-based initiative that seeks to bridge the areas of theology, ecology and faith. The idea that religious leaders can participate in studies that integrate theology and sustainable agriculture is inspiring, exciting, and literally ground-breaking!
Our human connection to the soil and its produce is about as biblical a theme as can be found; yet, it is remarkable that we don’t often recognize, as one attendee did, “that kneeling to plant seeds puts one in the posture of service to the land.”
Graduates from this program, such as Katie O’Hern, ’15, of Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester, New York.are bringing the experience to their faith communities, and if you belong to a congregation like this one you are fortunate indeed.
If you are interested in exploring the Food & Faith connection, retreats and parish farming schools of varying length and commitment are rare, but increasing in availability. In addition to the following suggestions, a simple online search will return several opportunities and resources.
Last fall, my husband and I attended a memorable and nourishing Food and Faith retreat at Jerusalem Farm, located in Kansas City. The weekend-long retreat is offered once a year.
If you live in near Norwood, Ohio, residential internships from May through November are offered through the Parish Farming School of Eucharistic Discipleship. http://www.parishfarmingschool.org/
And if you are looking for more inspiration or are interested in learning how you can cultivate a greater awareness of the food and faith connection in your community, family or personal life, visit culinary arts page on the Loyola Press’ arts and faith webpage: http://www.loyolapress.com/arts-and-faith-culinary-arts.htm