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!
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!
The Garden Church and Common Ground were recently featured on the Love in a Dangerous Time online radio show. Listen and hear Rev. Anna Woofenden and Rev. Sarah Buteux talk about the way that they are re-imagining church in their communities.
The Garden Church gathered this Sunday to be church as we worked and worshiped and ate together.
People were greeted in the parking lot of a local park, with a “Welcome to the Garden Church!” and handed a trash bag and gloves.
Soon the hill was filled with people with black plastic bags in one hand, bending down and gathering up the litter and debris that was covering the area.
And in what seemed like no time, the area went from a messy dumping ground to a clean slice of nature. I watched as people went from individually picking up trash in various areas, then slowly migrating together to form a trash-collecting cluster of community caring for the earth.
After celebrating how much trash we’d picked up in a short half hour, we washed our hands, grabbed our picnic stuff, and headed over the hill to a grassy spot under a tree.
Our youngest community members helped me to begin our time of worship together by setting out the objects that mark our worship space together. We set out the Word, the bread, the cup, the light, the water, the bell, and the tree of life. As we unwrapped each one we talked about the meaning and the vision for who we are as a church and how God is present amongst us.
As we moved into worship we spent time in silence that our bell ushered us into, finding silence in and amongst the sounds and movement around us. We noticed the wind blowing, the feel of the grass, and how the ocean had places that looked purple in it.
We then shared the story of the Children of Israel and how when they traveled, they set up their tabernacle and we heard the story of the Manna, the bread of life that God gave them in the wilderness. And we talked about what this story means in our community, and our lives.
Which led us into sharing the Sacred Meal, Communion, Holy Supper together, gathered around God’s table and feeding and being fed by each other.
Good to be church together. Let’s do it again soon.
In 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.
What blessing of a start for the Garden Church! Fifteen people gathered this Sunday to share in re-imagining church as we worked together, worshipped together, and ate together.
We opened with invoking the image of… in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God and God came and dwelt among us, or pitched Her tent among us, or tabernacled among us. Harkening back to the Children of Israel traveling in the wilderness and setting up their tangible reminders of the Holy One every time they stopped. This is community in its beginning stages. This is a community on the move. When we Gather, we will set up our tabernacle as the reminders of God with us and of the community we are forming.
The Word of God…that leads us, guides us, and continually brings us back to the stories of God and the stories of humanity.
Candle…the Light that comes into the world and is the lamp unto our feet and the Divine Light that we strive to see in each and every person.
The bread and wine…the sacred meal shared for and with all.
The bell… calling us together and inviting us into worship, silence, and collective harmony of sound.
And the Tree of Life…a reminder of what we’re working for, the heavenly city and a heavenly way of life, the tree with the leaves that will heal the nations.
We shared the Garden Church story and vision and had wonderful conversations, as everyone shared why they were there, their interest, journey, and gifts to offer.
We concluded our time together by sharing the Sacred Meal and felt God’s presence forming us as community.A blessed beginning and we look forward to cultivating this growing church plant.
In which I am deemed a “Swedenborgian Elvis”…
Earlham School of Religion Baccalaureate Dinner 2014
Faculty Tribute and Roast by Professor Ben Brazil for graduate Anna Woofenden