On Sunday, June 9th you’d think there was some kind of crazy man on the lawn beside our church! There he was, he had a big red machine and he was tearing up the beautiful lawn! Oh, no!
As he was working, a couple of cars slowed down and watched. I wonder what they thought as he slowly moved the big red machine back and forth, back and forth across a portion of the lawn. A little while later another car pulled in and a couple got out and watch him up close.
Yes, that’s Pastor Rick (me) in the picture with the hat in front of my trailer containing a 35 year old Troy-bilt rototiller I call ‘big red.’ It took me about 90 minutes that Sunday to convert a portion of the churches lawn into a garden plot.
In John 21, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. Each time he asked Jesus responded with a command; feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and then feed my sheep. It is with this instruction that we begin a new kind of journey in our community. Like many things, we will face obstacles. Our first was to get the land ready… mark that done. Our next is to find vegetable plants we put in our garden. That’s been started with Betty and Richard Durant bringing a few tomato plants they started from seeds (we will need more!). Next up we need a few other things too, we are going to fix the broken water outlet at the back of the church sanctuary. We need some hoses, maybe some rain barrels, and a whole bunch of help planting, weeding, watering.
When Jesus said ‘feed my lambs’ he was of course talking about all the children of God. Like a good shepherd Jesus was asking Peter to tend to all of us. Sometimes the Bible speaks in parables and analogies and I am sure there are a million and one ways to interpret John 21 but this time we are going try to do exactly what Jesus said to do, ‘feed my lambs.’
We have often supplied food for the local food pantry ‘Parish Cupboard.’ They are literally feeding His sheep every day, day in and day out. Now, we’d like to bring them fresh produce, from our garden. This year it is a small plot. Maybe next year it will be more.
How can you help? Invite a friend or family member to come and help with the garden. Come by and pull a few weeds, carry a watering can down and tend the crops. Enjoy an early morning this summer, before the heat, caring for the garden. When you are there, think about why you are there, ‘feeding His sheep.’
Things we need: Plants – butternut and acorn squash plants, green beans, leeks, radishes, green or red pepper plants, other plants? (no summer squash plants please, they take a lot of water), marigold flowers for the borders.
Supplies – landscaping fabric (to cover the ground and keep the weeds down and moisture in), garden hose (we will need over 100 feet!), rain barrel(s), a few simple gardening tools. You can write to Pastor Rick for more info.