While I’m on vacation, I asked a few Sojourn ministry leaders to keep the conversation going here at DanielSojourn.com. These are men and women who are leading us forward. Some of their work is behind the scenes, but it is all appreciated by me, by all the Sojourn pastors and by the many lives they have touched.
This week you’ll enjoy the perspectives of Nathan Ivey. Nathan is Pastor of Community Life at our Midtown Campus, and the founder of Seed, the Sojourn renewal ministry that has helped countless neighbors and drawn national attention from church leaders who want to replicate what we’re doing in their community.
Today he writes about the vacant lot that Sojourn transformed into a community garden in Shelby Park, and how you can do likewise in your city or neighborhood:
The Bible begins in a garden and ends in a city. How beautiful, then is a garden in the city! Sojourn Midtown has a unique setting in our city and neighborhood. Being from the state of Kentucky and the city of Louisville, we are submersed in both an agricultural and urban context. Thus, we have both a passion for gardens and the city. And, we believe these present amazing gospel opportunities for us in our neighborhood.
In looking at the Bible, one of our first loves as a church, we see that the Bible story begins in a garden (Eden, Gen. 2:8) and ends with a garden in the heart of God’s city (the new Jerusalem, Rev. 21-22). A garden in the middle of the city…what a beautiful picture!
The imagery of Revelation 21-22 has supplied us with a vision for the city of Louisville. We foresee a beautiful garden providing food, shade, and restoration for our inner city neighborhoods – Germantown and Shelby Park.
This year, Sojourn transformed a vacant lot in Shelby Park and transformed it into a community garden. Why? Because
- Gardens begin with God. A garden provides us with a picture of how God intended life to be lived – a way of life and a state of worship. The garden is a place for human work and divine provision.
- Gardens foster community. Gardens provide fresh produce and plants as well as satisfying labor, relationships, and a sense of community. The same community we were created for can be experienced in our neighborhoods through a community garden! It’s a place for conversation, relationships, and ample opportunities to share our faith and lives with others.
- Gardens provide restoration. Gardens improve a neighborhood’s health and wellness, and provide restoration to a community, as well as a connection to the environment. God cares for the whole person and we can see some of these needs met through a community garden.
Join the movement!
Connect with Sojourn’s Garden – care for a plot, help keep the grounds, meet a neighbor.
Start your own garden in your city. Collaborate with your neighbors, local stores, and your city officials to see your urban garden become a reality. Check out the following links on how to get started:
Maybe you already have a community garden in your neighborhood. Join the action! Check out the following website for a community garden near you:
For those that weren’t born with a green thumb, shop at your local Farmer’s Market to support the movement. Find the one closest to you!