Seedtime at Harvest in a changing climate


Multiple seed and harvest times happen in many places around the world. They even happen in Manitoba. Our farmer neighbour at the cottage is busy planting winter wheat as I take time from my planting indoor and harvesting outdoor gardens to write this post. It feels strange, yet inspiring.

Last week my husband and I lugged bags of compost out of our bins, sand from our horseshoe pits, and sacks of topsoil from the gardening section of a local store into our sun room garden. And then the planting began.Image

The sugar snap peas are amazing me with their rapid development. The arugula and green ice lettuce Which you see in front of the peas are still waiting to identify themselves with secondary leaves. There’s a mystery involved in this first fall season of indoor gardening. And the rabbit? No danger from this  safely staked variety!

It is both pleasure and an inspiration to see these signs of new life, even as my at home hours fill with making jams and pies with our harvested and collected berries,  sauce from our tomatoes, and pickles from our beets.

And in the midst of it all, in my work and in home life I am being challenged to loosen my hold on the way things were and to embrace the mystery of some new beginnings.  Home life is not blog fodder, but I just participated in Mennonite Church Canada’s annual all staff retreat.

The theme of our worship was “Orientation, disorientation, and reorientation.” We were inspired by reflecting on Psalms 1 and 137 under the shade of one of Manitoba’s grandfather trees.Image

We remembered that this tree had thrived by sinking its roots deeply into the life-giving waters of the Assiniboine River, that it had witnessed and survived all kinds of habitat and social changes. We challenged each other to sink our roots into the Water of Life to find the nourishment we needed to thrive and participate in our changing context.

And then we shifted to disorientation and lament with Psalm 137, where the Hebrew captives wept by the waters of Babylon. We gave each other permission to lament our challenges of responding to the changing seasons of being a faithful church. Later in the day we released and entrusted these laments to God by literally throwing them into the river. By naming and releasing these laments we were reoriented by opening ourselves to participate in the mystery of where God is leading his church.

I’m beginning to sense connections between my gardening life and my church vocation. Is my little sun room garden a symbol of some of the new, more local, and smaller ways the church will speak and nurture in a climate that seems more hostile? I’m not sure. Like the arugula and green ice seedlings, I need to wait for the distinguishing leaves to develop. Keep checking in to see  how my garden and God’s garden are growing.


About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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2 Responses to Seedtime at Harvest in a changing climate

  1. Hi Elsie. An interesting analogy. I look forward to reading more about this.

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