Tending the Garden: A Guide to Spiritual Formation and Community Gardens
Tending the Garden is a unique perspective and approach nurturing of Christian spirituality using the garden and gardening as a metaphor. Marshall and Julie Welch combine their experience and expertise in spiritual formation and gardening as an More...
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Tending the Garden is a unique perspective and approach nurturing of Christian spirituality using the garden and gardening as a metaphor. Marshall and Julie Welch combine their experience and expertise in spiritual formation and gardening as an invitation to tending to one's spirituality. Whether an experienced or novice gardener, the reader will gain insight not only into the art of gardening, but Christian spirituality as well. Spirituality is presented as a relational way to grow compassion and sensitivity to self, others, the environment, and to God. The book can be read individually or as a small book club group. Guidelines for facilitating a small group discussion are presented in the introduction. Part I consists of 14 short, engaging chapters, with titles such as "Weeding: Spiritual Discernment," "Manure Happens: Desolation and Consolation," and "Thank You Very Mulch: Our Spiritual Security Blanket." The narrative is written in a very conversational voice. Each chapter begins with scripture and an inspirational quote and concludes with a series of reflection questions as well as tips on how to "cultivate" one's spirituality. The "tips" are easy-to-do activities that are grounded in a long tradition of spiritual exercises presented in a contemporary context. In Part II, the authors also use their experience as co-coordinators of a community garden in their own church congregation to present step-by-step suggestions on how other communities of faith can start and maintain their own garden. Church gardens are introduced as a unique form of spiritual formation through a sense of community with other gardeners and a form of mission and ministry.