Monday, April 25, 2016

Worship in the garden

Sunday was our last worship service themed on creation. Appropriately, we met in a sustainable community garden. Surrounded by homes in various states of disrepair and repair, the garden plot covered two city lots. One of the lots had a for sale sign in front making the garden in the city more like a dream or a miracle. There were rows of vegetables and one of bees. Beehives, we were warned not to get too close. The beekeeper who was also the community gardener dressed in white overalls with a canvas meshed hat covering his head. He was feeding the bees. Chickens were coming next as a partially finished coop on the property looked hopeful. We had stations set up around the grounds. One invited us to ponder the fruits of the Spirit especially the ones lying dormant in our lives. What would need to happen for them to grow? Another offered a community hymn from the Psalms, praising God for simple bounties. The fruits of the Spirit station doubled as a communion table. Fresh baked bread along with grape juice followed our confession of needed fruits. The table overlooked a large compost pile topped off with egg shells and their cardboard containers, hopefully symbolizing what God was still going to do with our lives. At the end of our ponderings, praying and conversation around the stations we were invited to a table of simple fare created out of the produce of the neighborhood. There was lettuce from the garden and mulberry jam from the wild mulberries growing in the alley. More breads, locally made sausage from Alvarez Farms in the country and egg dishes made possible by the donations of the chickens living in a coop at our pastors's house. Before we left we learned about the needs of the community garden and we washed our dishes that we brought from home under the water pump. No plastic and paper products to throw away which is never away but to a landfill close by. We left with a word thanking God for his bounty and with the hope of learning to live more in harmony with creation.