6 Months on 6th Street!

Announcing The Garden Church Pop-up Garden and Gathering Space

TGC Lot

Dear Friends, It’s an exciting week in the land of The Garden Church! We signed a six-month lease for a lot right in the heart of old-town San Pedro. We are thrilled to be moving into phase three of our church planting strategy, having a space to plant our edible urban sanctuary, and fling open our gates to welcome people to feed and be fed! We will be opening the gates on May 1st and together we will put in a pop-up garden and gathering space for a six month growing season. Starting May 3rd we will be meeting weekly for our Sunday Gathering (3 pm Work, 4 pm Worship, 5 pm Eat) and we look forward to being a community gathering space and communal garden throughout the week in many forms. We’re delighted to be working with our fantastic collaborators at Green Girl Farms, who bring their gardening expertise and inspiration and dedication to bringing organic edibles and education to our community. It is a moment to pause and express gratitude to all of you for the ways that you have held and contributed to this vision so far. We would not be here without you, and we look forward to sharing together as this church grows into a living sanctuary where God’s love is made visible as people feed and are fed in body, mind, and spirit. Looking forward to being together in the garden, Rev. Anna TGC vision

Mark Your Calendars 

Sunday, April 26th Garden Church Gathering 3:00-5:30 pm We’ll work together to prepare to “pop-up” in our new home the first week of May. Friday, May 1st  Opening the Gates Placing of the Table and blessing the space. Time and details to be announced. Other Work Times: We will be bringing in straw and stock tanks on Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd. If anyone has a truck and would like to participate, let us know! Also, straw bales are heavy, and we could use all the people power we can get! Contact us at gardenchurchsp@gmail.com to participate. Sunday, May 3rd Build Day Stuffing straw into burlap tubes, creating garden beds, moving dirt, creating a prayer corner, we’re going to pop this garden church up! Work: Noon-4:00 pm Worship: 4:00 pm Eat: 5:00 pm Sunday, May 10th Garden Church Gathering—Special Mother’s Day Service Work: 3:00 pm Worship: 4:00 pm Eat 5:00 pm Sunday, May 17th Planting Day  Time to plant the seeds, seedlings, and plants into the dirt. Work: 3:00 pm Worship: 4:00 pm Eat: 5:00 pm Garden Church Gathering Every Sunday afternoon for the rest of the season Work 3:00 pm Worship 4:00 pm Eat 5:00 pm Theology Group is on hiatus for the month of April as we focus on preparing to grow our new home. We’ll reconvene in May in the garden.  If you have an idea for an activity, group, or event, please email us at: gardenchurchsp.@gmail.com

Thank you! Thank you for supporting the Garden Church!


Wow, wow WOW! We just ended a meaningful two hours of being the Garden Church at our Theology Group and found this amazing surprise awaiting us it 9:05p.m.! Not only has the goal been reached….the cup is overflowing! $4,035!
$1,055 of which are monthly pledges! Thank you. Thank you! Hearts are overflowing with the gratitude at this abundance and communal effort. The Garden Church is humbled, blessed, and committed to using your resources for good. Celebrating the end of #GivingTuesday and our three weeks of crowdfunding with huge gratitude and virtual fireworks!

Glimpses into the Garden Church Gathering

What a beautiful Gathering we had yesterday! Here’s a glimpse of it for those of you who couldn’t be with us in person. 
1cWhen you’re making church from scratch, the trunk of the car is key. 1dThose leading arrived early and scouted out our meeting place….
2...and then enlisted people to help set up as they arrived. One of the mottos we are engaging is, “give the work away.” Feeling useful and being a part of something engages us in a way that many other things don’t. It’s part of our whole “feed and be fed” bit. And so, as tempting as it was to get everything set up before people arrived, we restrained ourselves and had the joy of an entire artistic “name tag team” form, bonding over a “fill the watering cans” run, and worship space designers preparing the table. 34We then gathered around, ready to “make church together.”  5cJanis and Rachel shared with us how to plant and care for our lettuce seeds.
4aAnd then we got to work!9
5a People shared about the people in their lives that they were going to give their second pot to. Neighbors who they’d been wanting to connect with, homebound grandparents, close friend who is going through a loss. The Garden Church goodness spreading out into the world. 5Meanwhile, Lisa led the Garden Church Choir (“that’s you!”) in learning a song to sing during worship.4bOur youngest gardener won the prize… and made six pots! 5b At the Garden Church, we work together….8a We moved into our time of worship and unpacked our Tabernacle, the marker points of God dwelling with us as we are a community on the move.  Helpers were at the ready and set out the Bible, the candle, the bread and wine, the water and our icon of the Tree of Life. We then rung the gong and entered into the sacred silence where we can hear the Divine speaking to us.  8bHearing stories form the Word. 14c
And reflections on how we can engage our spiritual lives. 10
The community furthers the sermon in their reflections.
14a And then we share together in the Sacred Meal. The bread of life… 14b…and the cup of salvation. Feed and be fed. 13aOur Sacred Meal led into our community meal, where we enjoyed delightful food and good company. 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA17  We enjoyed the beauty of the choir singing and then teaching us, “This Pretty Planet” and by the end had the whole circle singing it as a three-part round, complete with movements and an ode to the scene behind us as we sang, “Golden sun going down, gentle blue giant, spin us around.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA May the Lord bless you and keep you….as we go out to love and to serve.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEveryone take your pots of future salad…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Packing up and leaving with full hearts under the glorious blessing of creation and our Creator.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet’s be church together again soon!

Add your offering to the basket for the work of the Garden Church.

//

Garden Church Gathering | Today at 3:00 p.m. | Join us!

IMG_6648On Sunday, November 23rd we will have our Garden Church Gathering! We have a beautiful collection of ways that we will work and worship and eat together this month.  It’s time to get our hands in the dirt as the Garden Church! Our work together will be planting pots of lettuce seeds that will be able to grow on your kitchen counter and provide fresh lettuce, as local as it gets, for months to come. Each one of us will get to take a bit of the Garden Church home with us. But more than that, we’re inviting everyone to make a second pot and give to someone you think could enjoy a little bit of love and food and goodness.

As we worship together, we’ll be blessed by a couple of guests from out of town. Two of them will be assisting with our music for worship and will be leading anyone who is interested in learning a song to sing as a mini-choir piece during worship. The sermon will be inviting us into a conversation about the dynamic between God and humanity, through the image of the Shepherd and the sheep, as we explore the difference between the goal of conversion or transformation. Our  worship time will culminate in a Sacred Meal (Communion/Holy Supper), which is open to all and where all are welcomed to feed and be fed.

Our Sacred Meal leads into our communal meal where we will eat together and enjoy the sharing of food and of conversations. Lorie will be making her delicious wraps again and we invite each of you to bring some kind of finger food to add to the meal. Fruit, veggies, drinks, chips, etc.

We are looking forward to being church together. Invite your friends, come on over, feed and be fed!

Directions: Our November Gathering will take place at the small park just down the hill from the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park at Pt. Fermin in San Pedro.

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*If you’re a GPS type, program it for Pt. Fermin Park. Then, drive past Pt. Fermin park, down below the Korean Friendship bell, and you will see a parking lot on your right (away from the water). You can then pull in and park in the parking lot there.  We’ll then gather at a cluster of picnic tables near the middle of the park. Take the path leading out of the parking lot and you’ll find us. 

Garden Church Gathering November 23rd 3:00 PM

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Getting ready to garden together at our Garden Church Gathering. Feed and be fed.

On Sunday, November 23rd we will have our Garden Church Gathering! We have a beautiful collection of ways that we will work and worship and eat together this month.  It’s time to get our hands in the dirt as the Garden Church! Our work together will be planting pots of lettuce seeds that will be able to grow on your kitchen counter and provide fresh lettuce, as local as it gets, for months to come. Each one of us will get to take a bit of the Garden Church home with us. But more than that, we’re inviting everyone to make a second pot and give to someone you think could enjoy a little bit of love and food and goodness.

As we worship together, we’ll be blessed by a couple of guests from out of town. Two of them will be assisting with our music for worship and will be leading anyone who is interested in learning a song to sing as a mini-choir piece during worship. The sermon will be inviting us into a conversation about the dynamic between God and humanity, through the image of the Shepherd and the sheep, as we explore the difference between the goal of conversion or transformation. Our  worship time will culminate in a Sacred Meal (Communion/Holy Supper), which is open to all and where all are welcomed to feed and be fed.

Our Sacred Meal leads into our communal meal where we will eat together and enjoy the sharing of food and of conversations. Lorie will be making her delicious wraps again and we invite each of you to bring some kind of finger food to add to the meal. Fruit, veggies, drinks, chips, etc.

We are looking forward to being church together. Invite your friends, come on over, feed and be fed!

Directions: Our November Gathering will take place at the small park just down the hill from the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park at Pt. Fermin in San Pedro.

IMG_5839

*If you’re a GPS type, program it for Pt. Fermin Park. Then, drive past Pt. Fermin park, down below the Korean Friendship bell, and you will see a parking lot on your right (away from the water). You can then pull in and park in the parking lot there.  We’ll then gather at a cluster of picnic tables near the middle of the park. Take the path leading out of the parking lot and you’ll find us. 

Garden Church Gathering this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

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“Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps”
– Saul Bellow

On Sunday, October 26th we will be gathering together to take some of these “small steps” by doing some community mapping in the San Pedro area. After searching through various definitions of the term, community mapping, this one stuck out as appropriate for the mission of the Garden Church. Community mapping is a “methodology used to link community recourses with an agreed upon vision”. In this case, the vision being the garden, the church, and the community hub that we hope to eventually bring to the San Pedro community. During this activity, we will be identifying various assets and resources that San Pedro has to offer that supports our end goal. You will be using a handout where you will identify and record any markets, schools, vacant lands, community gardens, bus stops and potential partners that you come across on your designated street (we will assign you a street on Sunday).  You will work in pairs or triads to walk down one street (we have 10th street to 21st street left to map) from Harbor Blvd. to Pacific Ave. We will be meeting in front of the San Pedro docks at the water fountain on 6th street and Harbor Blvd. to give out the record sheet and further discuss before venturing out to our designated streets. Can’t wait to see you all there!
-Adri (intern for the Garden Church)

After we do our mapping project, our work together, we will gather outdoors for worship in a park near by and reflect together on what we discovered in our community.

We will continue together in community by sharing in our community meal. Lorie is making sandwiches of a few varieties and each of us can bring chips, fruit, veggies or drinks to share.

We look forward to being church together this weekend!
Blessings,
Rev. Anna

Things to bring:

Your walking shoes

Your water bottle

Chips, fruit, or drinks to share

Your desire to be part of community

You full self that is valued and loved by God

Garden Church Gathering Sunday 9.28

 

IMG_5837In this beginning stage of putting down roots and forming as a community, we will have a Garden Church Gathering once a month (always the fourth Sunday) to explore and experiment with re-imagining church together. As we discover what it looks like to work, and worship, and eat together we will move to meeting every other week, and by Easter of 2015 we hope to have a Gathering every Sunday.

Our September Gathering will take place on Sunday, September 28th from 3:15pm—5:15pm at the small park just down the hill from the Korean Friendship Bell in Angels Gate Park at Pt. Fermin in San Pedro. *See below for detailed directions.

3:15-4:00pm Work Together—Grab some gloves and a trash bag and do some park clean up. (Cleanup is done at the risk of each individual. We will provide gloves and trash-bags). Or sit and meditate for the sake of all under a tree.

4:00pm Worship Together—Bring your camping chair, blanket, or find a seat on the grass and we’ll join our voices together in song, engage in some scripture and a message, pray together and share the Sacred Meal (Communion) with God, each other, and the earth beneath us.

4:45-5:15 Eat Together—The Sacred Meal will lead into our shared Community Meal. Everyone is invited to bring something to share in a simple potluck. Sign up here: http://www.prepatrip.com/t/3jk4i8/potluck/1 As we eat, we will talk about what it means to each of us to re-imagine church and discuss where it is that God is leading this unfolding community.

Contact us if you have any questions:  

We look forward to Gathering together!

*If you’re a GPS type, program it for Pt. Fermin Park. Then, drive past Pt. Fermin park, down below the Korean Friendship bell, and you will see a parking lot on your right (away from the water). You can then pull in and park in the parking lot there. We will be working together to clean up some of the hillside near the parking lot. We’ll then gather together in the shade near the other end of the park for worship and our picnic.
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Without Exception

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“I’m grateful that my car got towed and I’m out $322” was not a phrase I’d expected to say by the end of the day. But God is funny that way.

The sermon that morning was about money, and how uncomfortable we are talking about it—especially in church. One woman shared about her shame around not having enough to care for herself, another man his experience that money is not a thing, but a language. Our preacher brought us back to the table and God’s currency—the bread and wine—that all are called to receive, without exception. She reminded us of the way of communion at the Food Pantry and how we give groceries to all who come, without exception, much to the chagrin of non-profit norms and volunteers who have strong opinions about others worthiness to receive. But at the Food Pantry, and around that same communion table on that on Sunday holds the bread and wine, food is offered to all. Because that’s our best guess at following the way of Jesus.

As the sermon time ended, the words “your ways are not my ways” rang in my ears as we moved towards Communion.

And I remembered Friday. It had been my third week at the Food Pantry, and I had finally allowed myself to receive food. All the volunteers go shopping first, before we open the doors. But for my first two weeks, I had not partaken. I was thrilled to be there giving out the food, but, “No, no, I don’t need to take any.” My internal dialog was filled with stories of how others needed it more, and though yes, I am a grad student living on a frugal budget, I do have enough money to go to Trader Joe’s, and who am I to take food?

But on Friday, I was convicted that if I was going to be part of this community, I needed to receive as well as give. Something happened as I walked around that circle, picking up plums, a watermelon, a beautiful box of strawberries, and four pineapple yogurts. And something happened when I ate one of those yogurts this morning on my way to church and felt the nurturing gratitude that I had breakfast to eat, though I hadn’t had time to go to the grocery store in days. Something similar happened when I walked from the seating area to the communion table. I took that currency that’s beyond the earthly substance, yet embedded in the bread and wine, and received together in community, without exception, something that is so beyond what any of us could earn. The bread of life that comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.

The opportunity to receiving that currency didn’t end there that day.

”Am I going crazy?” I asked, “I parked it here, right?” We walked up and down the block in disbelief and all four agreed, my car that I had hurriedly parked there at 7:00 am as we gathered to carpool to church, was now gone. I didn’t burst into tears; the thought of all that it might mean to deal with having my car stolen sent me into an exhausted frozen fog.

“Really not what I need to deal with right now” I said, and went on to methodically call the police and go through 15 minutes of reporting and being sure my car was stolen. Then the phone rang and the Berkeley police deportment informed me that my car had not been stolen, but had been towed due to “partially blocking a driveway” (an allegation that all four of us felt immediately compelled to question). My relief at the car not being stolen was deep, though brief, as I talked to the towing company and discovered the price tag on getting my car back, and the extra fee for “storage” for the afternoon, as if my car was a studio apartment’s worth of boxes or something.

My friends stood by and swore with me at the appropriate moments, and offered helpful support, and then we all piled back into my friend’s car and drove to the towing facility. I got out and was met by Diego, the towing guy.

His friendly demeanor softened me and I found myself saying, as much for myself as to him, “I won’t take out my frustration on you. I know it’s not your fault.”

He went into the office to run my vehicle registration and my credit card, while I lifted the yellow carbon copy slip from under my windshield wiper. Finding there the added insult to the towing fee—the City of Berkeley wanted their cut of the car capture.

I texted the tidings of this yellow scroll to my friends in the car. Along with insisting that they were going to take me out for food and drinks after my car was released, one, in good theological form, wrote: “If anyone asks for your coat, give him your shirt as well—right?” To which I replied, “Do I really have to be a Christian right now too?” And then went on to insist that I was being nice to the towing guy.

But this moment of not yelling at the innocent towing guy was not the extent of what God was working on. Because God’s ways are not our ways. No, an opportunity to follow in the radical way of Christ and community, to be a Christian, would come through a text an hour or so later, with cheese fries in front of me and a frosty glass of cider in my hand.

This text said, “Just heard about your car. Shit. Please let pastoral care fund help you cover the cost. Will give you a check Tuesday. Aaargh.” I read it out-loud to my companions at the table, and started to express a mixture of deep gratitude, while totally brushing off the offer because, of course, “I would figure something out on my own.

And then community happened. Again. Because even if you’ve only known each other for a few weeks, we are called to be the church for one another, and sometimes that means holding up a mirror. I looked and saw my self-reliant, independent, don’t-receive-help-that-you-can’t-repay self looking back at me, and I knew. The call to follow Christ, the call to be human, the call to live in community, isn’t all about the giving. It’s also in the vulnerability of receiving.

Because if all are welcomed, without exception, to the bread of life, and if each one of us is a beloved child of God, worthy to eat that bread and drink that cup, then I can’t always be the one handing it out. Sometimes I have to put out my hands, and receive.

Yarn in Western Mass

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Part of the Pilgrimage Summer 2013 Series

Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve gone to the pinnacle of all yarn shopping experiences and I’m only on my second yarn shop. It’s like buying the 8″ canvas before practicing on scrap paper, or eating at a five star restaurant and then expecting to enjoy your local diner. Today I went to Webs.

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That’s Webs American Yarn Store. A store so well-known in the fiber world that it’s website is: www.yarn.com/ A store that I see posted about on Facebook at least semi-annually when Emily, Becky, and Nancy pilgrim there and post pictures that make any knitter drool. Yes, I went to Webs.

Thanks to my dear host and pastoral mentor Sarah, who scheduled it as a meeting on her calendar today. After the Ecumenical Bible study, where I got to meet her local colleagues, and before lunch at the local feeding program and homeless shelter, we went to Webs.

Being on a time budget, I had to take in quickly the rows and rows of color in the showroom. Shelf after shelf of alpaca and wool, vibrant magentas, and subtle greens. The showroom is larger than most yarn shops and each shelf is overflowing with texture and color. I kept my eyes focused at shelf level, only occasionally letting my gaze drift upwards to the beautiful projects gracefully displayed on top of each case. If I’d started fingering each sweater and wondering about the stitch in each shawl, well, we would have been very late to lunch.

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Then Sarah pointed out the sign: “Warehouse.” I could barely go in. It seemed borderline sacrilegious to even think about walking in for “only five minutes.” I paid homage to the first few rows and then bowed and promised my return when I had a day and a paycheck to spend in appropriate engagement with the wealth.

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Back in the showroom I found the yarn. A wool, cotton, silk and angora mix. Mixed into a stream of vibrant colors, appropriately indicating the depth and variety of experiences I’ve had here.

Thank you Web’s…may we meet again in the future.

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Nashville Yarn

Part of the Pilgrimage Summer 2013 Series

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As part of my summer adventures, I am crocheting a long scarf, a prayer shawl, for which I am gathering yarn each place I go. One of my hopes in this venture is to get to know local people and connect in with the communities I’m traveling to. And what better way to connect with people than through a shared love of color and yarn!

Athena and Jesse and I scoured the internet to find the best yarn shop in Nashville and we and google agreed that the Haus of Yarn was the place to go. Athena and I got in the car on the rainy Friday afternoon and after a few misled turns on the GPS, arrived at the Haus.

It was a lovely full-fledged local yarn shop, overflowing the colors and textures and I quickly was lost in looking and feeling. They had one shelf of local yarn, which was my first choice, but then was quickly out of the running based on the price-tag… I narrowed it down to three good choices under $10 and decided on a knobby green variegated.

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When I took it up to the register, I pulled out the beginnings of the shawl and told them about the project. A minute later three women were all crowded around the counter and feeling the existing yarn and asking about where else I would be on the hunt for yarn shops. They were very friendly when I asked if I could take their picture and they insisted I take a small gift of a tape measure with their Haus of Yarn logo proudly displayed.

After going outside, Athena and I stopped and I quickly finished off a bookmark with the newly found yarn woven in and ran it back inside to reciprocate the gift. Thank you Nashville!

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