A Prayer that Fell

A Prayer that Fell

At Farm Church we have a prayer wall. It’s really just a 4x8 piece of chicken wire with a bamboo pole at each end. But every Sunday we unroll it and hang it up in our worship space. A basket of cloth ribbons and some markers sit on a table in front of it, and during worship there’s always an open invitation for folks to write down a prayer and tie it on. Names, places, hopes, concerns…

A Snow Day Sermon

A Snow Day Sermon

Was Jesus’ baptism essentially a photo opportunity?  Was Jesus thinking, “Well, I don’t really need to get baptized right now, but you know, for the good of the people—to show them that I’m one of them, I really ought to go through with this.”  I’d venture to say that most of the time, this isn’t a question we bring to this particular story in Scripture:  Did Jesus Christ need to get baptized?

Pickle Church

Pickle Church

Last Sunday was a big dill at Farm Church.  For one day, we change our name to Pickle Church.  “What’s that?” you ask?  Well, try to imagine a congregation making about 80 jars of pickles in the middle of worship.  Pickling + Church = Pickle Church.  Why?  That may be the more pertinent question.  The "why" behind Pickle Church begins with a simple cucumber and an acute awareness of...

What Are We Doing?

What Are We Doing?

Still, we wondered, What are we doing?  A little more context.  This question stemmed from a critical reflection of the last five months of Farm Church (which, by the way, have been the only five months of Farm Church).  And by “What are we doing?” we meant, “Are we just creating one more facet of the institutional church?  One more outpost of a giant organization that’s managing a slow decline?  And (gulp) are we becoming a cool, hip church with a gardening club?”

The Land So Far

The Land So Far

Looks like a big ol’ lawn, doesn’t it?  It does and it is, but what you can’t quite see in this photo is that there is almost no topsoil.  Underneath the grass is a giant sheet of red clay that’d been baking in the hot North Carolina sun for years and years.  In fact, when we tried to till this soil with some pretty powerful tillers, the clay said, “No, I don’t think so.”

One Tablespoon

One Tablespoon

Last week we at Farm Church produced our first wheelbarrow full of composted soil.  Maybe you hear that and you think (perhaps sarcastically), “Wow.  Soil.  Incredible.  You don’t say.”  To which I say, “Yes, I know!  Soil made from banana peels, grass clippings, carrot peels, melon rinds, eggshells, wood chips… Rick, black, living soil!  Yes!”  Because I’m not just talking about any old dirt or even the “good stuff” you buy in a bag at the hardware store.  The soil I’m referring to is...

You don't have a soul. You are a soul...

You don't have a soul.  You are a soul...

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

 

-         Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

These words capture my imagination for what it means to be alive.  Like many others, I sometimes consider myself as having a “spiritual side,” or I think about spirituality as it’s simply a facet of my being.  But what if we are not physical human begins having (or not having) spiritual experiences?  What if instead we are spiritual beings living into a physical reality? 

To Be of Use

To Be of Use

Part of my own joy in this work is that Farm Church has people.  People who show up in their grubbies for church, roll up their sleeves, and attack Bermuda grass – people who “jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows.”  Having dreamed about Farm Church for so long, I can’t quite convey my constant joy and surprise that this thing is happening!

Photos from First Farm Church Worship

Photos from First Farm Church Worship

On Sunday morning, May 1, sixty-four people gathered at SEEDS in Durham for the first Farm Church worship service! So much to say and so much to process as we give heartfelt thanks for this experience that was almost two years in the making - two years of visioning, praying, networking, thinking, planning, worrying, searching, praying, deciding, packing, moving, unpacking, praying, seeking, praying, praying, and praying... 

"Before"

"Before"

“Before” pictures are often pictures we’ll never share unless we become satisfied with we come to know as “After.”  “Before-I-lost-20-pounds” or “before-the-bathroom-makeover” – these snapshots won’t see the light of day if the weight stays on and the tile doesn’t get laid.  It makes me wonder how many wonderful “before” pictures find themselves languishing like unopened time capsules, simultaneously memorializing an aspiration and shaming a lack of progress.

A Seminarian Interviews Farm Church

A Seminarian Interviews Farm Church

Last week I had the privilege and pleasure of speaking with Ben Johnston-Krase and Allen Brimer, the co-planters of Farm Church in Durham, North Carolina.  The idea for Farm Church started with a dream Ben had and shared with Allen about accepting a call to a church that turned out to be a farm.  His dream planted a seed that has quickly grown over the past two years into Farm Church, and they will worship together for the first time on May 1. 

Advent 3

During the liturgical season of Advent this year, I have been reading and exploring myths about heroes.  Hercules, Ulysses, Superman, Frodo Baggins, Mary, mother of Jesus, Luke Skywalker, Jack and the Beanstalk, and even Santa Claus make up a few of the many ancient and contemporary hero myths that comprise our understandings of who and what a hero is.