During the first weekend in October, a collection of scholars, practitioners and scholar-practitioners gathered at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. For the second year running, AMBS played host to the Rooted and Grounded Conference, which is an ongoing conversation about the relationship between a commitment to place and the Christian faith, with a decidedly agrarian spin.
Rob and I were honored to be among the presenters for the gathering, which included many whose work in places throughout North America we deeply admire. Our topic was an exploration of the ways our commitment to our places is akin to marriage, weaving together biblical foundations, narrative examples and images of both faithfulness and faithlessness.
A highlight of the weekend was our visit to the Merry Lea Environmental Center, where our friend Jon has been working for a number of years. As an extension of Goshen College, Merry Lea serves as a site for ecological education and experimentation. Touring their platinum LEED-certified buildings, market garden and woody perennial polyculture plot was greatly inspiring for our ongoing work at the Huss Project. It was a multi-sensory experience that reinforced the many profound ideas we take with us from the weekend, including Ched Myers’ call to watershed discipleship and Sylvia Keesmaat’s reminder that each loss of creation is a lost opportunity to know the fullness of the Creator.
Photo from workshop attendee Hillary W.