Meeting Jesus at the Farmers' Market

Presbyterian's Today-1If you're interested in seeing some of the churchy side of my life there is an article in Presbyterians Today magazine describing our church's work with the Farmers' Market. You can read the article here. The best part is the picture of my daughter Lily in the red jacket.

Here's how I described in a previous post the intersections of my faith with the topics on this blog.

And so my work with local food, our year long experiment, tearing out the lawn, raising chickens, etc. is, at least in part, an experiment in re-weaving faith and soil, food and spirit, earthy reality and divine truth, backyard and baptismal font.

It also relates to my experience as a pastor. I'm thinking of a friend who no longer attends church because she says she experiences God in nature. I'm thinking of the growing crowds of people who say they are spiritual but not religious. I see this as more a rejection of the false divide of the "holy and the world" than it is a rejection of God. And in some ways the church has itself to blame for this exodus. The church signed a long-term endorsement deal with modernity that looked like the deal of the century for awhile but has taken a tragic turn where people feel like they have to choose between nature and sanctuary, spirituality and a community of faith. As a pastor I am experimenting with what it looks like to lead a church that rejects this false divide and witnesses to a holistic faith. So I do the normal stuff like preach and visit the hospital and write newsletter articles, but I also manage a farmers' market and help distribute food with Second Harvest and work to establish community gardens in West Valley, and write a blog about local food.

And let me be as clear as I can, my interest in food and consumption is not some bait and switch effort to slip Jesus into people's lives, as if local food were some carrot on a stick to lead people along into the holy. The whole point is that I am learning to pay attention to real carrots, preferably local and organic, and see them as in some way holy. If I am seeking to convert people here it is a conversion to a whole life where truth and holiness are wedded to earthiness. At least that's the ongoing conversion I'm seeking in my own life.