The on-farm clergy continuing education course is called Tending the Shepherds Who Tend the Flocks: Toward Holy Health in Pastor and People. The thrust of the course is to offer the pastor metanoia, that turning toward a new mind and being regarding the nature of the pastor's vocation. In defiance of the trend whereby pastors see themselves as CEOs who lead organizations, or as mechanics who keep the congregational machinery running well, or as engineers who develop models for church life, or as those whose task it is to manufacture or program discipleship, this course offers the pastor opportunity to reclaim the more organic mindset of the shepherd to a flock.
How does it work?
Participants enroll for a full year, gathering monthly in small groups to spend a day on the farm (8:30am-4pm). The first half of the day is spent engaging Creation’s processes by way of the shared labor of light farm work (such as weeding the garden and tending the animals). Mid-day a hearty meal of farm-grown food is enjoyed. The second half of the day is spent in quiet time, prayer, reflection, and discussion. Conversation typically revolves around the structure and processes experienced and observed in nature, their biblical and theological expressions, and the uncanny similarity of any organic “household” --whether a group of colleagues, a flock or family, the plant-community of a garden or the people-community of a congregation. As one participates in and reflects upon the regenerative order of Creation, new thinking and functioning is encouraged toward the “holy health” of the pastoral leader, the family and the congregation.
What do I get?
The participant in HOPE CSA receives not only food for thought but food for the body as well. Each participant has the option to purchase (at a discount) a “teaching share” of the harvest of Hawkins Family Farm that includes the choice of fresh meat chickens, fresh turkeys, freezer beef and freezer pork.
When do the groups meet?
The HOPE CSA "academic year" begins in February and ends the following January, meeting monthly except during December. There are three groups to choose from:
- the group that meets on the Third Monday
- the group that meets on the Third Thursday
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