Hands in the Soil: Clergy at CommonWealth
Clergy Renewal Through Environmental Awareness

What is Clergy at CommonWealth?

A small group (6-8) of clergy attend a day-long program once a month, in which they spend three hours working on an urban farm (CommonWealth Urban Farms in uptown Oklahoma City.) Following lunch together, the cohort processes with a spiritual director and environmental educator from Turtle Rock Farm In Town, around their spiritual and emotional experiences working in nature; explore the value for themselves and their faith community of growing food; study theological themes in ecospirituality, and how they might move congregants into creation care—through worship experience, community gardens, environmental justice.

At the end of the nine-month program, the participants will schedule with CommonWealth Urban Farms a Saturday morning tour for three of their faith community members.

The program is underwritten by Green Connections. Also, as a statement of their commitment to attend the entire program, participants pay $25 a month ($225, due at time of registration.) The fee will cover food, utilities, equipment costs. CEUs are available.

Purpose of the program

  • To allow Earth/Nature/Creation to provide clergy healing and renewal through monthly time with their hands in the soil, experiencing life in a garden.
  • To experience community in a cohort of clergy as they work and share together.
  • To come to know the value of leading their congregations into creation care and how to do that (language in worship, environmental justice and growing food together.)

Short Term Goals

  • Clergy develop a community of peers outside their denominational culture.
  • Clergy get some fresh air and exercise.
  • Clergy experience the healing properties of gardening.
  • Clergy have the opportunity to process their experience with a trained spiritual director in a group setting.
  • Clergy celebrate at table during a healthy (locally-grown) weekly lunch with peers.
  • Clergy receive emotional and spiritual support.
  • Clergy explore theological aspects of creation care.

Long Term Goals

  • Clergy come to realize the value of growing food in community.
  • Clergy develop skills to lead congregations into possibility of developing gardens.
  • Clergy grow in understanding of value of our planet home, and saving it.
  • Clergy become equipped to lead worship using images of God from nature; develop other ways to bring creation awareness into weekly liturgy.
  • Clergy are trained in ways to lead their congregations into environmental stewardship.
  • Clergy have the opportunity to facilitate their congregations’ exploration of environmental justice.

Starts: Friday, March 2, 2018
Ends: Friday, November 3, 2018

CommonWealth Urban Farms, NW 32nd and Olie Streets in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Contact Pat Hoerth, 580.917.6011 pathoerth@gmail.com