Seminary Stewardship Alliance

On Earth Day there was a special service at the National Cathedral, led by Matthew Sleeth of Blessed Earth.  The service launched a year-long series of lectures and sermons focused on creation care and stewardship.  In between the first and second services Wendell Berry was presented with an award honoring his career as an advocate of responsible care for our world and its resources.   Also during the time between services, Dr. Sleeth announced the launch of the Seminary Stewardship Alliance–a group of the nation’s leading seminaries, which have committed to sustainability and to making creation care an integral part of the education of their students.

This pleases me greatly.  I’m very happy that these seminaries are committing to equip their students to carry the urgent message of creation care to their congregations and ministries.

I am especially pleased that my seminary is one of the founding twelve members.  I am also very pleased that Wake Forest Divinity School in among the initial twelve.  That is due to a “God thing.”  I was chatting with Fred Bahnson at a conference a few days before the launch and I mentioned the Alliance to him.  He had not heard about it.  He called Gail O’Day, dean of the Wake Divinity School over and I told her what I knew about it.  That same day she called Nancy Sleeth and signed on.  So a few days later when Dr. Sleeth read off the names of the founding seminaries, Wake was one of them.  There were 12 founding members rather than 11.  And, as Fred told me, twelve is a great Biblical number.

I don’t always agree with the public stances my seminary takes.  But on this one, I couldn’t agree more.

May this Alliance bear abundant fruit.

Love Wins

Looking back…

Forty years ago, had someone told me that I’d be happily spending all my time working in the garden, I would probably have thought the person to be out of his or her mind.

As a child I spent a lot of time working in the garden.  Always involuntarily.  Almost always our garden work was done in the late afternoons, after a long hot day of working in my Grandpa’s tobacco fields.  From when I was about 7 years old, almost every summer day began at about 4:30 am.  After milking the cows and harnessing up the horses, or later bringing up the tractors, we’d have a big breakfast.  Then we went to the field, just as the sun was rising, to be ready to start work as soon as it was light enough to see.  We’d usually fill a barn by early afternoon.  That was when my Mama would send us to the garden to pick.  It was always hot and I was always tired.  It was definitely not how I wanted to spend my afternoons.  I came to hate working in the garden.

At night in the summer, if we wanted to watch TV, we’d have to snap beans or shell peas while doing it.

Of course I now cherish and treasure those memories.  I’m grateful for the work ethic I was taught and for my deep love of the land, some of which was in my DNA and some of which came from close contact with it growing up.

And these days there is nothing I’d rather do than go work in the garden.

Love Wins