March 11, 2017 — Columbia Theological Seminary announced a new partnership with the Global Growers Network this spring. Students from SAGE (Shaping Attention to God’s Earth) will prepare space by expanding the Community Garden Sanctuary for Global Growers to begin planting their own plots. Columbia Seminary hopes to recreate the community garden into a space of intentional partnership and growth with a ceremonial signing of their agreement during an Earth Day Celebration on April 21, 2017.
Global Growers supports a network of independently managed farm and garden sites in and around metro Atlanta, by providing technical assistance, educational opportunities, and leadership development. Each of the six Global Growers plots will be managed by an immigrant or refugee family or individual.
Additionally, Columbia Seminary secured a $5,000 grant from the First Presbyterian Church Bergstrom Grants Committee in Neenah, WI. This grant is being used to construct a renewable rainwater capture system for storage of about 1,500 gallons of water near the school’s Community Garden Sanctuary. A new tool shed was built just last year, which will be shared by the Global Growers Network.
“This expands our existing partnership with the Global Growers Network,” said Stan Saunders, Professor of New Testament. “Already our students and faculty benefit for their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Many of us have visited other sites managed by them as part of our Explorations class where we think about ministry in alternate contexts.”
“Karen Webster (DMin student) and the Healthy Seminarians Healthy Church program also played an important role,” said Rachel Mathews ’18, president of SAGE. “Their partnership, imagination and hard work was necessary in securing the grant, dreaming up the partnership, and building culture around the garden. Without their partnership and help, we would not be where we are.”
Columbia Theological Seminary seeks to discern and participate in God’s gracious creation, with wonder and thanksgiving, through sharing, caring for, and celebrating the gifts and resources God gives to us through the earth. Other efforts at Columbia Seminary include an annual Creation Care Sermon Award, marking Earth Day by participating in an “Energy Sabbath,” and other efforts led by the SAGE group.
Columbia Theological Seminary has two buildings, the Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center and the New Residence Hall, which have earned the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. Both were designed by the architecture firm of Lord Aeck Sargent.
About Global Growers Network:
The mission of Global Growers Network (GG) is to create opportunities in sustainable agriculture in Georgia, by growing good food, training farmers, and providing economic opportunity. Global Growers is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, GA. Global Growers grew out of the tremendous demand among international farmers, many who came to Atlanta as refugees of war, to reconnect to their agricultural heritage in their new home. Recognizing this exceptional talent, Global Growers connects local families to land, education, and markets in order to build healthier communities and strengthen our local economy. We are committed to cultivating diverse farmers who are traditionally under served by mainstream agricultural service providers. For more information, please visit: www.globalgrowers.org.
About Columbia Theological Seminary:
Columbia Theological Seminary is “Cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit www.CTSnet.edu.
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