Growing Kindness

By Rebekah Hanson

Fall will soon be upon us, and with the cooler weather, the harvest in the church garden will be done. In this editor's note, I want to share the story of the church garden with you, because it relates to this month's LIFEline themes of kindness and goodness.

Earlier this spring when my husband, Reuben, and I found out we would be caretakers at BCF, Julie Thompson asked if we would be interested in planting any vegetables in the small plot of dirt in the back parking lot. In the past, the plot had been empty besides the hydrangeas. She said that she had tried to grow some tomatoes there last year, but they did not produce well.

Reuben, having the green thumb he does, jumped on the offer. He grew up planting a large garden in his family’s backyard every year as a teenager and was excited for the chance to garden again. We started off with the basics - tomatoes, onions, peppers, cabbage, celery and herbs.

However, our intention from the beginning was to extend the harvest from the garden to members of BCF and the ANFC congregations. We wanted everyone using the building to share in the joy of the garden. So, we approached leaders in the ANFC congregations and asked what kinds of vegetables members in their congregations would like. We took their suggestions, and starting planting more vegetables - squash, collard greens, eggplants, and some vegetables I don’t know the English name for.

The garden has produced a bountiful harvest, and it is with open hands that we share the vegetables with our BCF family. Acts 20:35 says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” If you haven’t taken a handful of cherry tomatoes, squash leaves, or something else yet, then we welcome you to do so. We want this garden to be a place where kindness is grown and shared.