St. Matthew’s family, near and far,
As I have been working 20 hours a week to establish a new Episcopal community with a core team during this pandemic, it has been a challenge, to say the least. So, while I have not been able to bring people together at a local café on the West side of Columbus, I began to discover the role of community gardens as a vehicle to not only address physical hunger but also the need for spiritual connection. In this realization, the team and I began to ask the question, “What would it look like for a church plant to grow out of a community garden?” This question has now led us to the safest and most focused way to establish relationships in the community.
Sacred Table Community Garden is born, and the question above has led us to a master gardener who connected us to an 18-bed garden that has been fallow for two years in the Hilltop area. This garden is located at the old Big Lots headquarters and has access to water, a storage shed, and fencing. This garden was the community outreach of Big Lots Corporate before they moved to New Albany, and their community engagement department is ecstatic that we will resurrect their commitment to the community through the garden. To date, this journey has now created partnerships with Episcopal, Methodist, Bahai, and Buddhist communities (for a start). We have also found a partner with a local café. Needless to say, the work is only beginning, but the response in regard to potential has been very positive. We have begun to form a gardening team from St. Matthew’s of those who are interested and are able to give what time they have to the cause of serving with Sacred Table. I invite you to consider giving what you can through St. Matthew’s to this worthy cause.
This garden is 27 minutes from St. Matthew’s and is located on the grounds of the old Big Lots headquarters at 300 Phillipi Road on the west side.
If you are interested in being a part of this team, or want to learn more about this project, please let me know. Contact me for further details. This will be a wonderful way to build relationships among other faith traditions and community members, while we also work together for food sustainability and hunger initiatives.
April will be the month of clean-up and preparation for May planting. Again, contact me for more information.
In God’s garden,
Father Joseph Kovitch