Friday, April 30, 2010

gardening and god

a wonderful post from christine sine.


…and here’s a taste:

Is This a Move of God?

Saturday I facilitated a Spirituality of Gardening seminar at the Mustard Seed House.  A small but extremely enthusiastic group gathered to discuss basics of organic gardening and how we encounter God in the garden.  Towards the end of the day we talked about the current move towards faith based community gardens that are springing up literally all over the world as churches discover they can not only produce food for their congregations but also help feed those at the margins.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

christian community

jonathan talks about community in this 5min WOTP video…i’m honored to have my photos incorporated into this piece.

Christian Community w/Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrve from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a half-born condition

if i’m reading something other than fiction, it is usually because geoff has convinced me with a fair amount of cajoling that a book is worth my time.  i didn’t need any form of convincing to start into jonathan wilson-hartgrove’s new book “the wisdom of stability.”

just from the first chapter alone, i feel like his gentle words (which read just like the sound of the slow drawl of his southern accent) resonate with a place in me that is still unresolved yet full of hope about the stability that can come from life in community.  in one passage, jonathan quotes a saint of christian community, clarence jordan of the interracial community called koinonia farm in my home state of georgia.  about the rising and falling tides of their life together, jordan claims, “this is what always baffles me.  koinonia is forever dying and forever living.  we should have conked out long ago, but somehow others came in the nick of time.  this half-born condition is agonizing, and i could wish it otherwise, but there it is.”


jonathan goes on to reflect, “stability in community is always a half-born condition.  we are suspended between heaven and earth on a ladder that promises communion with god but is also planted firmly on the ground…stability is a commitment to trust god not in an ideal world, but in the battered and bruised world we know.  if real life with god can happen anywhere at all, then it can happen here among the people whose troubles are already evident to us…community is always a risk.  we cannot know beforehand who will stay and who will leave.  but each decision to stay – every prayer lifted up from our half-born condition – can be seen as an act of faith that our god will give us what we need, as clarence jordan said, ‘in the nick of time.’”

while reading this, i couldn’t help but recall the rich and mysterious observations of wendell berry in his “unsettling of america” in which he depicts this same kind of half-born condition from the lens of the condition of soil, “if healthy soil is full of death it is also full of life…nothing that dies is dead for very long. within this powerful economy, it seems that death occurs only for the good of life.”  these things seep in slowly for me and help recast my sense of the last decade of life in this place with these people of communality, those still here, those long gone.  i certainly receive the paradox and greyness of it all far better than a few years ago.  i’m glad jonathan’s book about stability will give company, comfort and weight to this journey.


Monday, April 26, 2010

good question

isaac was reading his comic-book version of the new testament tonight.  at one point he paused, pointed to Peter, and asked, “does that guy have the same powers as Jesus?”   i wondered if i should take the “jesus is not a super hero” line or argument.  i wondered how to break down social trinitarianism is easy-to-swallow chunks.  i ended up going with the biblical anthropology dissertation.  first i i umm-ed and ahhh-ed and then suggested that we all do have the power of Jesus by the holy spirit and according oto the will of the Father.  he looked up at me with ridicule in his eyes and said, “i can’t heal people just like that like Jesus did.”  he had me there.  isaac is yet to heal people like Jesus.  i think i need some help with theology for 6-year-olds.

the stranger

there is a storm brewing out west. recent legislation adopted by AZ threatens to unearth our fear and hate a scape-goating inclinations.  while the law of the land is important we are always challenged to affirm our ultimate obligation to the reign of God.  our story tells us (without qualification)


“when an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.  The alien who resides with you shall be ot you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I an the Lord you God.” (my emphasis…Leviticus 19:33-34).


i know it is a complicated issue and i know there are qualifications to be made but this passage (and many like it) must be our touchstone…along with careful reflection on the way Jesus positioned himself in the public sphere where stones were cupped in white-knuckled hands.


this group is doing some good work to help frame a christian response…check it out.  they say:


· We believe all people, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, are made in the "image of God" and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).


· We believe there is an undeniable responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).


· We believe that immigrants are our neighbors, both literally and figuratively, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).


· We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God's image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).


We recognize that the current U.S. immigration system is broken and reform is necessary.

The biblical princples above compel us to support immigration reform legislation that includes the following elements:


· Enforcement initiatives that are consistent with humanitarian values;


· Reforms in our family-based immigration system that reduce waiting times for separated families to be reunited;


· A process for all immigrant workers and their families already in the U.S. to earn citizenship upon satisfaction of specific criteria;


· An expansion of legal avenues for workers and families to enter our country and work in a safe and legal manner with their rights and due process fully protected;


· Examining solutions to address the root causes of migration, such as economic disparities between sending and receiving nations.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

spring days

we have the long-awaited rain.  we are 7 inches down from where we should be so the storms currently brewing overhead are greatly appreciated.  between the rain showers we were able to do some harvesting and devoured a home-grown salad from the asparagus, broccoli raab, radish, cilantro, chives, spinach, turnip greens, and onion growing in the raised beds.

spring harvest april 24 '10

spring harvest april 24 '10

spring harvest april 24 '10

spring harvest april 24 '10

Friday, April 23, 2010


our friends, the samsons, have opened their tea shop. a beautiful downtown space with delicious tea (and coffee and scones, etc.).  i can highly recommend the earl grey with vanilla.  finally, a place where you can get (as my mum would say) a “proper cuppa”.

check them out:



greatest show on earth

isaac and his classmates did a great job with their circus spectacular this morning.  he was proudly wearing his clown-collar which he has been busy sewing in class these last couple of weeks.

greatest show on earth

greatest show on earth

here he is with his best buddy, omar.

greatest show on earth

greatest show on earth

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bryan Moyer Suderman concert

check out bryan’s music here

great concert tonight at the high st house….





see more pics here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

urban garden

sherry’s friend (and boss) posted a picture and comment at his blog after a visit to our place yesterday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

school trip

can you tell we are trying to post more on our blog?

this morning i (geoff) joined isaac’s class for their annual trip to see the blue-eyed mary wildflowers at the nearby nature reserve (raven’s run).  gorgeous weather and a nice long stroll in the woods.  here are some pics.  more at our flickr page.

raven's run school trip

raven's run school trip

raven's run school trip

raven's run school trip

raven's run school trip

raven's run school trip

now what lexington?

it was a full weekend for some communality peeps….on saturday the Campus Community Partnerships for Sustainability Conference happened at BCTC as well as the creative cities gig follow-up downtown: now what lexington? put on by progresslex.  i wandered into one discussion to discover our very own dustin, david, jodie, and sherry scheming with a room full of other active and engaged citizens.


now what lexington unconference

now what lexington unconference

now what lexington unconference

Sunday, April 18, 2010

karate kid

isaac is loving his foray into the martial arts.  he is taking a beginners program at the YMCA.




Friday, April 16, 2010

the wisdom of stability

our friend jonathan has a wonderful book out.

you can pick up a copy here

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

self portrait

isaac was proud to display his self portrait at the school art show this week.  he said it was him when he is angry and he showed us his angry face to illustrate.  certainly some pathos there.