Congregation connects food, farming and faith

Cathleen Hockman-Wert of Corvallis Mennonite Fellowship, from the the quarterly
newsletter of the Interfaith Food and Farms Partnership (IFFP), a project of
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon‘s Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns.

Mennonite Fellowship dedicated five of our summer worship times to a series on
food and faith adapted from the Simply in Season cookbook. Each
week had a theme that mirrored the cookbook: spring/environment, summer/health,
fall/time, and winter/money. We
found this to be such a rich topic and it was great to have five weeks to
explore these issues. But with a topic so rich, even five weeks wasn’t enough
time to cover everything.

service was led by a different person or family, so we had a variety of
activities, including lots of group discussion and a visit from farmer and “That’s My Farmer” participant
Anita Azarenko (of La Mancha Ranch and Orchard). After the first week I heard one person say, “I learned so
much! I learned how much I don’t know.” Another person commented on how
great it was to hear about the different things people in our congregation are
doing that go against the mainstream.

goal is not that we all make identical choices or “arrive,” but that
we each continue to take steps on the journey of living our faith — and that a
meaningful way to do this can be through our food choices. On the Sunday
focused on “time,” one person noted how great it would be if we could
spend more time doing food projects together, such as canning, which is so much
more fun when done with friends. We have a potluck after church each week, and
during the series we provided index cards and encouraged people to write the
story of their dish — where the ingredients came from, the story of the recipe,
etc. (The Simply in Season cookbook is downloadable here for free.