United Church of Christ’s The Pollinator, an environmental justice blog, has an interview with the pastor of a new farm church, Sarah Horton-Cambell. Cambell serves Common Life Church & Farm in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.
The interview is part of an ongoing series “focused on church leaders who are envisioning and bringing to life new ways of being the church while having a notable emphasis on creation care and justice.”
From the interview:
Is there something in our culture or in the unique character of your church that makes this title especially relevant?
A main focus of Common Life Church & Farm is embodied spirituality. What does that mean? By “embodied spirituality,” I mean that how we worship and do church is structured in such a way that it reflects our faith values and engages our intellect, heart, and bodies.
The name Common Life evokes the way that relationships are central to our spiritual practice. By worshiping in a dinner church setting, we are interacting with one another and recognizing the Divine in each other. Another important spiritual practice for our church is tending the garden together. Gardening puts us in relationship with the earth as well as with one another. Dinner church and gardening are also both ways to experience and connect with God.
We often remind ourselves that God calls us to right relationship with God, one another, and the earth. In our communal gatherings, we don’t just learn about this call and then enact it elsewhere. We are actively engaging in our relationships with God, one another, and the earth through our communal worship and spiritual practices.
Common Life is located in a semi-rural area. In this area, there is not a progressive, welcoming, and affirming faith community for people of all backgrounds. Common Life hopes to provide this kind of community as an Open and Affirming and racial justice oriented church. In a highly agricultural area, growing and sharing food together as spiritual practice is a wonderful way to bring people together and build relationships that can heal divisions in our community.