April 19, 2009

soil conservation

This morning, I preached a sermon on soil conservation.

Yah, it may seem like a strange topic - and definately not in line with any lectionary passages or a sermon series.

But this spring, I auctioned off a sermon during our youth fundraiser. And the winning bidder got to choose the topic or scripture for an upcoming sermon. Hence, the topic.

What I was blessed with was the resources this congregation member passed along. I learned all about the National Association of Conservation Districts and recieved their amazing church resource packet.

Because of a series we are starting next week on what it means to belong to the body of Christ, this was the weekened I chose to preach on the topic - but Stewardship Week actually kicks off NEXT Sunday - so I want to pass along the site for any who might be interested! HERE

For our worship, I talked about what it is that makes good soil - both in the earth that surrounds us, but also in more metaphorical terms, what makes good soil for our faith to grow in. Using some of Gary Gunderson's congregational strengths from "Deeply Woven Roots" I lifted up four necessities.

1) Good soil needs roots... both to protect the soil from erosion and also as the tradition and scriptures and stories that ground us in our past.

2) Good soil must be abundant and have a common purpose... a clump of dirt can't grow the planet's food and neither can individual Christians reach out and embody God's will in the world - but together, we can bear fruit.

3) Good soil must be alive... filled with minerals and living organisms and water and soil and air - it is the diversity that makes life able to survive. And our body of Christ requires all of us working together, with our unique gifts to bring to life the word of God in our world.

4) Good soil must be nourished by nutrients and water... without these things, the soil would be dead and worthless, unable to produce abundance. And as people of faith, we need the refreshing power of the Holy Spirit, the waters of baptism, the bread of new life and to live in the Word of God in order to do God's will.

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