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.