Vision

1Rooted in Faith
We strive to follow the example of Jesus by loving, serving, and feeding each other. The vision for The Garden Church embraces the idea that the church is itself an organism that is gathered together to be useful to the broader community, not merely existing to serve itself, and that it is a place where people can come and be useful to each other and to the community around them. Embodying the Swedenborgian teaching that “all religion is of life, and the life of religion is to do good,” we will blur the lines between worship and service, community development and church as an embodied spiritual community. Drawing from the teaching of the deep connection between the natural world and a spiritual reality, we will engage nature and food through embodied theology as we garden and eat together.

chard-bannerEngaging the teachings of interconnected community and the multiple levels of loving the neighbor, we envision this church to serve as an organic emanation of God’s redemptive and transformative work. We see the work we do together bringing transformation to individuals, between people, in the local community, for the broader denomination, and to society as a whole.

Challenges
Response


Individual


Spiritual longing and desire to make meaning of life
Holistic and transformational theology

Nutrition, health, and food issues
Engagement and education in holistic sustenance through gardening, cooking, and eating together

People experiencing isolation and disconnection from nature, people, and God
Using the acts of gardening and eating together to engage the natural world, a place of belonging, and the Divine


Interpersonal


Need for belonging, place to be useful
Communal eating, feeding, and serving

Economic equality and justice
Addressing local instances of inequity and injustice through education, advocacy, and accompaniment.

Separation and segregation of people, communities, and families
Worshiping together in a liturgical and spiritual space where we come together and remember to see and encourage God’s love in all people


Local Community


 

Poor nutrition, health, and environmental awareness
Programs that address issues of food, nutrition, and the value of local gardening

Isolated agencies and disconnection between social strata’s
Be a hub for communal connection and restoration, collaboration and creativity

Fragmented and fractured communities, and a world of division and oppression
Create a sanctuary for divergent individuals and communities to connect


Denominational


 

The world and church as we know it is changing
Re-imagine church by exploring what it means to be church in this generation

Churches have turned inwards, social service has become secular
Create an organization that engages both spiritual and social restoration and transformation

The call on the Swedenborgian tradition to be translated forward and engage in the needs and culture of the world today
Be a laboratory for Swedenborgian expressions of spiritual entrepreneurship


Society


 

Reputation that religion and church is primarily bigoted, consumerist, and judgmental
Challenge that assumption through action, and by being a religious voice for justice and compassion

A growing crisis in food production, quality, and distribution
Work locally to change the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed

A world that experiences pain, brokenness, and hellish ways of living
Embody ways of heavenly life here on earth

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