Tuesday, April 27, 2010

abundant life

*From Horizons, the weekly snippets of what I'm reading, finding helpful, shared with St. C's Vestry and leaders.*

Grace and peace! My shared learnings this week come from the Trinity News, a magazine of Trinity Wall Street. This particular article (viewable here, at Abundant Life) examines a farming project of the Episcopal Church, which seeks "to engage young people in caring for the earth, making a meaning contribution to the community, and listening to God in the midst of all of it." Specifically, young people enroll in year-round internships.

Here are some highlights from the article:

Q: Katerina, when your friends from college or your friends from childhood say, "So what are you doing now?" what do you tell them?

Katerina Friesen: I tell them that I am working on a farm, living in an intentional community, learning about agriculture in the United States, and a little bit about the food systems from a different way of growing food.

Q: What made you join?

KF: I think that what brought me to this place was its focus on the transformation of itself, of myself, and of the surrounding community. It's really a project about forming connections where there are disconnects.

This community was really about thinking about where our food comes from, having a sense of gratitude for the hands that have worked to prepare it, and forming new relationships with the ground and with the people who are going to consume it.

Q: What have you learned about compassion, what does that word mean to you, in light of this experience?

KF: I started going to a church in Oxnard, to a Spanish service so that I could actually know and share communion with people who don't have enough to eat on a day-to-day basis. And I think some of that desire has come out of this project. Gratitude for our abundance has made me long to be in community and share Christ's supper with people who don't have that kind of abundance, who are living out of scarcity.

Q: You mentioned gratitude as a reason for being here. What has the Abundant Table Project taught you about gratitude?

KF: What the land gives you is such a joy and a surprise. It's like a miracle in a way. Part of the gratitude I think is for our own ability to work and to see the fruits of our labor right before us. Everything that comes out of here is a gift. We came here and we didn't really didn't know much about farming. It was obviously something beyond us: the good soil, the sun, all these things that come together and are really all gifts of God.


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