Synod of the Sun
Congregation envisions garden as transformational project
April 11, 2016
In response to the call to be stewards of the earth, members of First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene, Texas, are transforming the corner property across from the church from a vacant lot to a meditation and community garden that will nourish both body and soul. When completed, the tract will encompass seven smaller gardens for growing vegetables that will be shared with neighborhood residents. Any surplus will be given to those who visit the Presbyterian Food Pantry.
A walking path designed to accommodate wheelchairs will make meandering through the garden possible for all. Flowering shrubs and trees, herbs and other vegetation well suited for butterflies will be incorporated into the garden, making it a sanctuary for migrating monarchs, which are diminishing in number due to the scarcity of milkweed and other plants required for their survival. At the heart of the garden will be a labyrinth, thanks to a generous gift from Synod of the Sun. Members of First Central look forward to inviting those who live or work downtown to walk the labyrinth during their lunch hour or any other time during the day. In addition to the labyrinth, the garden will offer seating scattered throughout the spacious grounds. Eventually a corner of the lot will be dedicated to a staging area for communal worship, weddings and outdoor programs.
Already the garden ministry is cultivating friendships between church members and inquisitive neighbors, who stop and ask what is under way.Organizers are confident that the garden will be ideal for nurturing healthy relationships within the church family, serving as a hands-on learning opportunity for children and youth as they become stewards of the earth and cultivating friendships with downtown residents.
Rev. Rich Schempp, Executive Presbyter
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
For the sowers of seeds, the abundance of the earth, new friends, butterflies and children—we give thanks, gracious God. May the church of Jesus Christ continue to bloom in all of its forms. Amen.