HOPE CSA began in 2003 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) teaching ministry that offers a course of experiential learning and academic study to assist pastors to become healthier and more effective leaders. Its method is to use the life-restoring resource of Creation and a safe gathering of colleagues in the context of a small, diversified family farm. Participants are encouraged to engage the given world’s processes that make for well-being, or “holy health”—a wide view of health that understands a person spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, interpersonally, environmentally, and vocationally.
Mindful that the word “pastor” comes from the Latin pascere which literally means “one who puts to pasture,” the ministry of HOPE CSA is fitting in its approach to link pastor and pasture, human and humus, soil and soul.
HOPE CSA partners with J.L. Hawkins Family Farm. In 1957, John Leo and Velma Hawkins purchased a 99-acre farm in Wabash County, Indiana where their grandchildren now live and labor to produce all-natural food for the table. In 2003 they began to market their products using a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) approach whereby participants purchase a share of the farm’s harvest for an annual subscription price. The mission of J.L. Hawkins Family Farm is to be a household of “holy health” by stewarding God’s Creation in ways that respect and engage the regenerative processes of nature. This farm grows crops and animals, in order to produce wholesome, tasty food, and to teach an “organic” way of thinking about all of life, from the vantage point of hopeful Christian conviction, with a particular focus on clergy, congregations, and the church.