Prolific American author Wendell Berry is known for his poetry, essays, novels and his activism. His experiences as the son of a farmer directed his work later in life as an author and activist. His activism began in 1968 with A Statement Against the War in Vietnam” which was published in 1969 in a collection of essays. His activism has continued throughout his career and he has taken a special interest in environmental issues.
His work has received numerous awards, most of which can be found here at a fan website. In addition to his many already published works, Mr. Berry has two books to be published in the next year: Fidelity: Five Stories (Aug 2018 – rerelease; original publication date 1992) and The Art of Loading Brush New Agrarian Writings (Jan 2019).
Beloved for his insightful and steady voice which argues for a profound reflection and connection with the earth, Berry has been an influential American voice through the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. There are many recommendations for the best place to start when reading Wendell Berry, but there is agreement that the most important thing is to start.
For Wendell Berry’s own website click here. A fan website has collected many online resources for those interested in Wendell Berry, which can be found here. Berry’s published work can be found from major booksellers and your favorite independent bookstore. Click here to be taken to his author page on Amazon.
CreaturKind has created a 6-week course to help Christians think about what their faith means for animals. The course is free and is meant to assist churches in learning about animal welfare and how to care for animals faithfully. They aim to encourage Christians to consider what they believe about God’s creatures and how they might move toward living out those beliefs as members of the body of Christ. To read more or watch a short video about the course, click here.
CreatureKind is an organization that engages churches in new ways of thinking about animals. They encourage Christians to consider what they—as members of the body of Christ—believe about God’s creatures and how they might move toward living out those beliefs more fully. They also provide information, prompt discussion, share stories, and offer recommendations for flourishing as humans creatures without denying the flourishing of animal creatures. They work to inspire vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, farmers, fishers, and friends to learn from each other about how each to be the church that follows Christ into the reconciliation of all creatures. To read more about CreatureKind, click here.
Dust Bowl Dance is a song by Mumford & Sons. The song is describing the historical dust bowl that occurred in the 1930’s in the United States. The band is describing the hardships farmers had to endure. Many were forced to leave their land and some even died from the extreme dust storms that happened. The lyrics state,
“I’ve been kicked off my land at the age of sixteen
And I have no idea where else my heart could have been
I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill
And now I am sure my heart will never be still
So collect your courage and collect your horse
And pray you never feel this same kind of remorse”
Later in the song he then says,
“There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied”
The band is telling the story of a boy that was a victim of the times and was forced to leave his land. I think that this connects to Christianity because he describes turning to God in his time of anger. Throughout the song, the lyrics describe the people who took the land as greedy and says they cannot love the land when they took it from the hands of the poor. I think that this then leads to the lyrics listed above, where they say “You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied.” I think that they are saying by being greedy and not doing anything about the land that was being destroyed by the dust bowl, which is what forced this boy to leave his land, that they are denying God. To listen to the Dust Bowl Dance click here. To view the lyrics, click here.
Bellwether farm is a new camp and education center of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. It is meant to provide leadership development and teachings through sustainable farming, food production, and care of the environment. It is located in Wakeman Ohio, with the goals of informing, inspiring, and empowering leaders for a sustainable future. The buildings are models of green technology featuring passive buildings, renewable energy, and water reclamation systems. To read more or see how to attend, click here.
Technology For the Poor is a non-profit organization started by Dr. Job Ebenezer. Their mission is to develop, innovate, and disseminate sustainable technologies to the poor all over the world. While Dr. Ebenezer has designed and implemented many different sustainable practices, one of the most notable is his work with urban agriculture and gardens. Using inexpensive containers and suitable soil mix, he has created container gardens in urban areas such as rooftops and unused parking lots in places such as Chicago and Washington D.C. Locally, he has created these gardens at Ascension Lutheran Church, Faith Mission Men’s Shelter, and a soup kitchen in Franklin. To learn more about Technology for the Poor and their work, click here. To read about container gardens and a guide on how to start your own, click here.
Pictured above is a dual-purpose bicycle built by Dr. Ebenezer, courtesy of technologyforthepoor.com
Technology for the Poor is a non-profit, charitable organization started by the current president, Dr. Job Ebenezer. Based on the philosophy of George Washington Carver, their work strives to serve communities by providing them with sustainable technologies. These sustainable technologies include human powered energy systems, urban agriculture, and sustainable building technologies. Specific examples of their work includes a dual-purpose bicycle, wind energy generators, low-cost construction techniques, and container gardening. Dr. Ebenezer’s container gardens have made it much easier for urban buildings, such as churches and community buildings, to have their own gardens. To learn more about urban agriculture, click here. For more information on Technology for the Poor, click here.
Food, Faith, and Farming, previously known as Churches’ Center for Land and People, uses an interfaith collaboration approach to integrate earth stewardship, economic justice, community and spirituality around issues related to agriculture and food. They aim to strengthen rural life and the connection between farmers, their land, and their communities. They do so by offering a prayerful and spiritual perspective in rural communities, raising awareness of rural spirituality in our culture, and providing resources for those in church life and beyond. To check out their website, click here. Additionally, they offer a flyer containing resources for faith communities on the spiritual integrity of rural life and farming. To read the flyer, click here.
Hazon, which means vision, is an organization that works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community. They do so through three effective changes: transformative experiences, thought-leadership, and capacity building. They are all intensive multi-day retreats or workshops that encourage people to make a difference in the world, and in the process enable them to renew their Jewish journeys. To learn more about the Jewish Food Movement and Hazon, click here.
The Christian Food Movement combines discipleship, sustainability, health and justice in hopes to inspire conversation and collaboration about agriculture and providing food for all who need it. Their website is a guide to different Christian organizations that either provide information about sustainability producing food, or are a resource for those in need of food. They believe in loving and taking care of ones neighbor, no matter their faith. This is how and why this program was started and has since grown. In addition, their website offers a directory which can be used to find resources in any state. To access this directory click here. To read more on the Christian Food Movement, click here.