Monday, May 04, 2009

My Church's Farmer's Market

Last summer two women in the church came to me with the idea of hosting a farmer's market at our church.  One is a chili pepper and herb grower.  She makes all kinds of chili rubs.  I bought some pear honey for her last year too.  The other woman is an elementary school teacher who had previously expressed interest in promoting good eating habits among children.
Morris had no previously existing farmer's market.  The two women thought it would be a great example of "Radical Hospitality," which is a principle of The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, by Bishop Robert Schnase.  We had been studying the book together as a congregation through a sermon series and a book study.  I thought it was a great idea, and told them so.   They went with it.  By the end of the summer, our parking lot was ringed with farmers with their tailgates open and tables of vegetables.  We opened the church so that bathrooms would be accessible for farmers and shoppers, and welcomed the kids to play with the church air-hockey table.  The market was to be on Saturdays, which meant that our church might not be perfectly clean on Sunday mornings for worship.  The church considering the ramifications of this fact during church council was a good opportunity to for us to reflect on the true purpose of a church.  
We submitted the idea to Bishop Robert Schnase's website that corresponds with the book and study material,
This past week, I was also contacted by someone at The Interpreter magazine who wants to include a photo in that magazine of the market.  
Hooray church.  We plan to continue the program this year.  

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