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Showing posts from May, 2014

Pavement, Black Plastic Bags, and an Inspirational Field of Tomatoes

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I volunteer at an urban church which is committed to gardening.  We garden on a re-purposed vacant lot.  We grow trees on a group of city lots that are not suitable for construction.  We garden in aquariums in a 3rd floor classroom.  We garden in a newly constructed greenhouse.  We grow disciples, and we grow food.

One of the hats I wear is a woven straw hat that my god-daughter bought for me on a super sunny day in El Salvador.  One of the figurative hats I wear is Urban Greenhouse Project Coordinator.  I did not go to school to be a gardener or a botanist or a horticulturist.  I learned to raise a vegetable garden from my dad.  I started learning about urban gardening strategies from friends in El Salvador.

One of the challenges which El Salvador faces is high population density and lack of access to affordable, healthy foods in urban and suburban areas. People who live in the countryside with limited economic resources can manage to survive by gathering and growing fruits and veget…

Journey to Sustainability

No one goes into pastoral ministry to make their fortune.  Well, at least in Lutheran world.  In our ELCA congregational budgets personnel costs eat up the biggest slice of the offering pie, and congregations believe it is good and fair to compensate their pastors for all of the Gospel and community work they do.  Of course not every congregation is able to fully provide for a full time pastor, so congregations often find themselves working together, sharing a pastor, applying for grants or asking other churches for support.

Those of us in companion relationships with the Salvadoran Lutheran Church have been long aware of the precarious situations in which pastors of the church live.  As a poor church dedicated to serving in poor communities often where no other denominations are present, the Salvadoran Lutheran Church struggles with sustainability.  Pastors work in multi-point parishes and are extremely dedicated to the work they do.  Most of their work is done without pay.  Some sur…