What do you see when you gaze upon the campus of Grace? Do you ever wonder how you can become involved in welcoming visitors to the Grace campus, both the church and the external campus? What is your vision of God as the Creator and Sustainer of Life?
Have you ever been food insecure and what does the term mean to you? Would you like to learn more about gardening, connecting with nature, and reaching others in the community of Gainesville through the Garden of Grace?
The Garden of Grace is for you, your family, your neighbor, your friend, your enemy, and the one that you do not know yet-the Garden of Grace is for everyone.
Really, the church is designed to model a space that welcomes community, the stranger, the marginalized, and everyone in-between. Grace is just not for those who are here in this moment, but in moments yet to come. The Grace campus should welcome all ages and stages of life to find the living Christ in every moment of breath and conversation.
The Grace campus is the sacred space where strangers are no longer outsiders and welcomed into a loving community of faith. The concept of enemy and division becomes foreign rather than the stranger as a foreigner.
God continually renews the church just as the cycle of the seasons of life within a garden. Let the Garden of Grace remind us of God’s creation, but that we must remain entirely in Christ to bear fruits of the Spirit (John 15:1-5) and may the gardener continue to intercede for us and accept repentance in Grace and Mercy when we do not bear fruit (Luke 13:6-9).
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22 NRSV).
May the Garden of Grace and the community that is Grace model this peace and wholeness now and always.
So, what is in the future of the Garden of Grace?
- Planned seasonal crop rotations following installation of a deer fence
- Meditation paths and seating areas with relevant scriptures
- Welcome signage
- Additional meditation pathways in the wooded area behind the garden
- Engagement of community gardeners in the Garden of Grace
What can you do?
- Pray that God may be glorified through the Garden of Grace, and that this sacred space may result in many Christ encounters as faith and community grow
- Participate in a workday
- Join the Garden of Grace Watering and Planting Team
- Invite a friend who enjoys gardening to participate in the Garden of Grace
- Contribute Ideas and Vision for the Garden
- Donate concrete benches or larger pavers for seating and meditation areas
- Donate time and talent for building a small step walkway into the Garden
- Donate plants if you have suggestions and ideas
Contact Sarah Beth Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org