Messiah’s Biblical Garden
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
By Beth Fulmer
Synod Communicator – Messiah, Mauldin
For as long as she can remember, Anne Force has had the desire to grow a Biblical garden, and for the last six years, she has researched the “ins and outs” of doing so. Messiah has six raised garden beds and when planting season was around the corner, Anne approached Pastor Michael and asked if she could use two of the beds to create a Biblical garden. Not only did Pastor Michael “okay” the two beds, he asked her to manage all the raised beds; the other four would be dedicated to growing vegetables for the Food Pantry and food-insecure members of the congregation.
Anne started her mission. With 168 plants mentioned in the Bible, her first job was to pick the plants she wanted to cultivate. Most of those chosen were those mentioned in the Old Testament.
All of the plants started with non-GMO organic seeds in her “green house” (her back bedroom). The plants she chose were cucumbers, melon, lettuce, hyssop, wheat, rue, leeks, crocus, wormwood, flax, anemones, dill, coriander, barley, and Egyptian onions. No pesticides have been used; instead, herbs were substituted as a natural pest deterrent.
When she asked for those interested in helping, the conference room was full. Her garden team of nine has stayed busy watering, weeding, and taking care of the general upkeep of the six beds. The harvest will be amazing and will provide a Biblical lesson for the entire congregation of Messiah Lutheran Church.
Anne will be conducting a Bible Study starting on June 6. It will be from 11:30 AM until 1:00 every Thursday through August 8. Each Thursday, she will cover five Biblical plants. Members of other congregations are welcome to attend. There will also be a Saturday seminar; the date has yet to be determined.
C. S. Lewis once said, “A garden teems with life. It glows with color and smells like heaven and puts forth at every hour of a summer day beauties which man could never have created and could not even, on his own resources, have imagined.” This truly describes Anne’s dream and her Biblical garden.
This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.
We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.
ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201