The garden ministry is a Green Team initiative providing vegetables for area food pantries and community members here at Wesley and the greater Coles County region. If you are interested in adopting a garden box or volunteering at our Giving in-ground Garden, please contact Karen Clausing (email@example.com) /217-273-0597) or Robin Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org /217-549-0199).
With the loss of Restore as a donation option, local families and businesses need to turn to other are resale shops with their donations. This table created by Steve Runyon, outlines the various resale businesses that may accept your donations. Items each place accepts and any restrictions are also noted along with business hours, address, and phone numbers.
When donating to Standing Stone - please refer to the following Donation Center Guidelines to best serve the center and community
In 2020, the church had a large unused area of lawn with a water hydrant…the perfect spot for a garden! Despite COVID, we started small with one 4’x8’ raised bed & two 4’ grow bags tended by the Green Team. While not wildly productive, it was a good learning experience. That fall, a scout with BSA Troop 141 expanded our garden for his Eagle Project. Alex’s design made our garden disability accessible with a wide paver path, two 2’x4’ waist high & eight 4’x4’ knee high raised beds situated on a weed barrier edged with brick. 2021 kicked off with a fun Earth Day event planting vegetables & flowers for pollinators in our greatly improved garden. Foraging deer enjoyed our efforts as much as we did so temporary fencing & a gate were welcome additions.
According to Dr. Michael Gillespie, EIU Sociology Professor, families with children in our county had a 22.4% poverty rate & 44.1% food insecurity rate in 2018 so our goals for 2022 expanded to include growing fresh, healthy vegetables for those in need. This spring we doubled the size of the garden & enclosed it with 7’ deer fencing. The raised beds are assigned, as before, to gardeners for their personal use; vegetables from in-ground rows will be donated to local food pantries. Networking with similar community projects & destinations for our produce as well as outreach on campus & to the community are ongoing. Volunteers with a variety of skills are always welcome … gardening, of course, but also networking, organizing educational activities, & distributing vegetables to name a few. Our garden continues to grow so join the fun, enjoy time outside in nature, get to know other gardeners, & put your faith to work helping our neighbors!
Jesus said the first of the Greatest Commandments (Luke 10:25-28) is to love God. How? We love the Creator by loving Creation, by caring for what God has blessed us with as stewards. Look at nature, all that surrounds us, as a gift to be cherished. Give thanks and follow through with actions that show your love of God.
Jesus said the Second of the Greatest Commandments is to love our neighbor. He then told the story of the Good Samaritan, who cared for an injured traveler (Luke 10:25-37). Our neighbors near and far suffer from environmental injustice. Work to fix the “road”—the systems that perpetuate harm to those with few resources. Join or support organizations that love your neighbor by working for creation justice.
Jesus said as part of the Greatest Commandment that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:25-28). We love ourselves by taking care of ourselves for the long haul. Live a sustainable lifestyle. Living sustainably makes the world better for ourselves and everyone else.
Jesus said we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45). He followed that statement with “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:27-37). Recognize the differences in tactics of hate versus strategies of accountability and reconciliation. Speak up for change. Show a better way.
Jesus said to his disciples (and us), “I give you a New Commandment: Love one another—and in doing so, you will help others see my love” (paraphrase of John 13:31-35). As a church, work together to provide opportunities to help the environment and to give the wider community a vision of what love in action can do. Consider hosting a recycling bin or event.
Love the earth. Stop using Styrofoam. This single-use “convenience” has its raw materials extracted from the earth, leaches harmful chemicals into hot food or drink, adds to the volume of methane from landfills, and exposes production workers to permanent nervous system damage. Switch to reusable containers for food and drink.
Love the air. Clean it up. Deadly air pollution contributes to nearly 7 million deaths each year through noncommunicable diseases, including stroke, heart disease, asthma, respiratory infections, and lung cancer. US emissions are among the highest. Women, children, minorities, migrants and displaced persons, older people, and those with underlying conditions bear the brunt. Reduce your own emissions; pressure your lawmakers to make changes.
Love the water. Oceans are God’s great carbon sinks. With a warming climate our oceans, which work for humanity as well as for an amazing array of marine life, are struggling. Plastic pollution is a major culprit. Litter finds its way through waterways to the great seas. Raise the alarm and an army of friends to tackle plastic pollution locally and internationally. That will help downstream too.
Love God’s creatures. Consider the endangered forest elephants. In the rainforests of central and west Africa, the elephants prefer to eat the fast growing, low carbon density trees—the weeds of the forest. Thinning those allows the high carbon density trees to flourish, which sequesters more carbon and is better for all God’s creatures. Because they eat fruit, they are also planters of new trees. Support elephant conservation.
Love the younger generations. Eco-anxiety is growing among younger people. An antidote to the threat of that mental illness is connecting with people who are taking action. When working for creation care and justice, include younger ones in the efforts and the conversation. Keep in mind, “He who plants a tree plants a hope” (Lucy Larcom).
FInd more creation tips here: https://umcreationjustice.org/tips/