The name for this blog comes from the Hebrew word merchab. Merchab is a masculine noun that appears most often in the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures. It means a broad or roomy place, an expansive place, a wide place. Read more...

April 18, 2009

Permaculture 1

Thursday evening Heather and I attended a presentation on permaculture at Uvic. Permaculture is defined as

A system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms. It seeks to provide sustainable and secure places for humans and all other living things on this earth.

In a gathering of sixty people, Heather and I were the oldest by twenty years. The topic was obviously of interest to young adults. As I sat listening to this discussion of how humans might interact in more healthy and life-giving ways with our environment, my mind wandered off, as it sometimes does, to the topic of church, where the population is less dominated by twenty-somethings.

At one point in his presentation, the speaker said, “Permaculture is about connections; to be a functioning system, there has to be connection.” Is there a hunger for human connection of which the church may have lost sight?

We live in a culture that is characterized by isolation. Increasingly, the demands of work, the attractions of home entertainment, and the pressures to perform in the world make it difficult for people to find meaningful ways to connect.

In the church of my childhood, connection formed around bazaars, rummage sales, and spring teas. This activity based, fund-raising connection no longer provides a compelling vision for most people under the age of sixty.

Within the often hectic realities of peoples’ lives, the church must find ways to facilitate Christ-centered connection. What might it look like for the church to be a place in which people are given an opportunity to connect with one another around a common desire to grow in their ability to love God and their neighbour?

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