Spring is arriving and with it a new year of Good News Gardens ministry

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Mar 3, 2021

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Curry describes Good News Gardens as “A way of planting seeds for a new heaven and a new earth,” in this video invitation to join with others in this transformational agrarian ministry that feeds body, mind, and spirit. Good News Gardens is a church-wide movement of individuals, congregations, schools, colleges, seminaries, monasteries, camps and conference centers involved in a variety of food and creation care ministries – gardening, farming, beekeeping, composting, gleaning, feeding, and food justice advocacy. Collectively good news gardeners share their abundance, their prayers, and the Way of Love in their communities and beyond.

“Our call as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement is to follow Jesus Christ and his way of love, growing in faith and action, in order that we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world,” said Jerusalem Greer, Episcopal Church staff officer for evangelism, “And we believe that one place we can bear witness to this love is through our relationship with the land. We believe that when we commit to planting more (be it beehives or herb gardens), praying more (with our words and our deeds), and proclaiming more (through our stories and our bounty) in order to share the loving, liberating, and life-giving Good News of God’s love with all people, we will find ourselves, our church, and our world transformed. Good News Gardens offers individuals, congregations, and dioceses a way to join in this transformation work intentionally.”

The benefits of joining Good News Gardens include a monthly newsletter, community support via the Agrarian Ministries of the Episcopal Church Facebook Group, and invitations to monthly gatherings and digital workshops, including “How to Host a Community Garden Training.” Available on demand, this introductory community garden workshop is hosted by Derrick Weston, manager of the Rockrose Community Farm, Baltimore, Maryland and co-host of the Food and Faith Podcast and Pat Munts, small-farm and acreage coordinator for Washington State University (WSU) Spokane County Extension and the Spokane Conservation District, Spokane, Washington.

Joining Greer in this ministry is Brian Sellers-Petersen who has joined the evangelism and creation care team as the Good News Gardens consultant and is shepherding a large portion of the community engagement.  Sellers-Petersen, author of Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith, also currently serves as agrarian missioner for the Diocese of Olympia in Washington state and senior advisor to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry based in New York. He is also a member of the General Convention Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism. Most of Sellers-Petersen’s career has been with international relief and development organizations including 18 years with Episcopal Relief & Development. He lives in Roslyn, Washington in the Diocese of Spokane and is a member of the Church of the Resurrection.

“Brian Sellers Peterson has done more to teach me about our call as stewards of land, environment, and nature than any single person I have known,” said the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, “He has the knowledge, but more than that, the passion for this connection.  Through that passion and skill, he has helped transform our culture here in Olympia, with gardens, bees, connection, and advocacy. We need a lot of good news right now, and Good News Gardens is just that, with some amazing practical implications for our Church and our world.”

To join Good News Gardens, view last season’s workshops, or to find out more information, visit: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/good-news-gardens/.

Questions about the program? Email Good News Gardens or call Greer at 212-716-6219.