Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
 Creation-Care, 365

 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation

Creation Quote:
Hildegard of Bingen

Small Steps:
Garden Hotline

Tools for Renewal:
Church Garden Toolkits

Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:
Spring-Summer 2013

Creation Keepers:
Lakewood UMC

UMC Creation-Care News


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"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #68 "Back to the Garden"
March 21, 2013
Bleeding heart2
This issue of Creation-Care 365 is
dedicated to every person who finds
him/herself out in a garden more often than not during these first days of spring. It's also dedicated to every congregation that finds itself -- in the face of ever-increasing
urbanization/suburbanization -- growing food, flowers, and/or habitat for members of God's broader creation. (As Grace would have it, it seems that more and more congregational gardens are
popping up in our Conference with every new growing
season! Please see the "Creation Keepers" section below for a great example of this in Lakewood, WA.) Whether you're a new gardener or seasoned, community-garden organizer, we hope that you'll find helpful resources and inspiration in this issue.

To all gardeners: your efforts are so very needed in a world
that hungers for access to nutritious, culturally appropriate
foods -- a world that also hungers for living, "green" oases. God bless you and your communities with verdant

Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Projects Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries 

Queen Anne UMC (Seattle)/The Well

This Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m.:
Joel Salatin
Activist & Farmer

 Joel Salatin believes that his work is grounded in a theology that honors the earth, the animals he husbands, the crops he grows, the people he feeds, and the Creator of all. Come hear Joel Salatin at The Well on March 23 at 2 PM. Come, be part of Queen Anne UMC's "intimate space for big conversation."
For tickets and more information on the entire series,
please visit  Queen Anne UMC's website.
QuoteCreation Quote

From Hildegard of Bingen



Benedictine abbess, poet, scientist, healer, artist, & theologian  

Hildegard of Bingen 

"Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth's greenings.
Now, think.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things. . . .
We are to work with [nature].
For without her we cannot survive."
 SmallStepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
Garden Hotline

Are you looking to make your home or church garden more
creation honoring? Consider this free service (based out of
Seattle Tilth): "For over 20 years, the Garden Hotline
educators have been providing information and guidance at
no cost to home gardeners and landscape professionals.
Our goal is to educate the public on ways to reduce waste,
conserve water and other natural resources, and minimize Garden Hotline
the use of chemicals in your garden, landscape and yard,
while creating a healthier environment and community."

You can also go to the Garden Hotline's website to discover free classes and download-able resource guides.

The Garden Hotline
(206) 633-0224
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Saturday
Small_StepsTools for Renewal
Two, Free Tools for Growing Community/Church Gardens

Tool #1: "Return to the Garden: The Disciples Guide to Organizing Community Gardens"
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has produced this download-able resource "to help your congregation start a community garden on or near your church property."  Here's a small sample of this resource's contents:
  • How to organize your community garden
  • Community garden time line
  • You want to get your hands dirty but you're not sure where to begin
  • Companion planting guide
  • How to handle "pests"
  • Improve your garden's soil
  • Rainwater harvesting  

Tool #2: "Sow a Cool Harvest" Kit
Interfaith Power and Light has created a special "Sow a
Cool Harvest" gardening kit for congregations. Click on the
link above or image below to request the kit download.
Each kit includes the following sections:
  • Organic Gardening Primer
  • Model Faith Garden Stories
  • Creating a Raised Bed Garden
  • Making Your Own Worm Composting Bin
  • Top Ten Beneficial Insects
  • Difference Between Seeds
  • When to Plant
  • Earth Blessings
  • Regional Garden Resources
  • Other Things You Can Do
  • Advocate for a Healthy Farm Bill
  • "DIRT!" Film Screening Flyers
  • "DIRT!" Discussion Guide
Lectionary Links
Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Spring-Summer 2013


CreationKeeperCreation Keepers
Lakewood UMC Lakewood (WA)
Lakewood UMC
Jackie Lownie -- a member of Lakewood UMC -- recently sung the praises of the garden and the gardeners at her church... and we just had to learn more!  The following comes from an article, "Community Garden Project at United Methodist Church in Lakewood," by Sherry Benic:

Lakewood residents with green thumbs are invited to sow their own personal garden plots at the United Methodist Church at Lakewood.  The Pea Patches are [four] feet by eight feet in size,  ...The Pea Patch gardens are [low-cost, $10-15] to area residents, and "farmers" are asked to donate a portion of their harvest to the FISH Food Bank located in the church. [Lakewood UMC's] Curt and Debbie Warmington are spearheading this project, along with help from Pierce College, with an eye to creating a permaculture garden.  Plans for the grounds include fruit trees, a labyrinth for meditation, and a self-sustaining garden.   


Then we went strait to the source of this project, and heard this from Debbie Warmington:


My husband and I decided to get back into gardening several years ago...  I found a flyer about a permaculture design class that seemed to cover all the stuff we were trying to get into - basically how to be self-sustaining using whole system design.   One of the requirements to receive a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) is to do a design project.  After we received our PDC , we started to use the principles in our food bank garden at the church.  When Kelda Miller, our PDC teacher, taught a second class, she asked if we wanted a group to do a design at our church.  We jumped at the chance.  

After many meetings with the group of 4 gentlemen and a variety of people at our church, they created a design that would highlight our church's commitment to food justice.  The 5-year plan starts with the completion of the community garden.  We will then be working on a "food forest," which will include fruit trees, berries, and other plants that will work symbiotically as a system that will help keep the soil fertile and the plants healthy.  We will eventually have a 'Snack and Go' path that will encircle our property.  There will be several areas that highlight different things -- the food forest I mentioned previously, a children's garden, a labyrinth that will include plants from the Bible, and a meditative memorial garden with a water feature. 
UMC Creation-Care News
"Creation-Care, 365" is a free, e-resource of the PNW Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Subscribers are welcome to reprint any/all of the materials contained within; cite "Creation-Care, 365," Thanks and God bless you in your creation-caring efforts.