Project Eden: Connecting People with Creation
BY AARON ELLIOTT, SENIOR DIRECTOR - PARTNER DEVELOPMENT
The mission of Project Eden is to reconnect people with creation and restore broken ecosystems. For the past few years, we have been busy restoring broken ecosystems: restoring the south pond at Grace 146th Street to native habitat, restoring a native prairie at Shepherd Community Center, planting a native hardwood forest on the far north property at Grace 146th Street, developing our community gardens and orchard that grow thousands of pounds of local, organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables for the Grace Care Center food pantry, and many other projects. As we turn the corner on our third season as an organization, we wanted to set aside some time specifically for the first part of our mission: to reconnect people with creation.
We did just that at the Hideaway at Eagle Creek Park last Saturday, March 12 for the first Reconnecting with Creation Retreat. We spent the morning hearing from renowned Old Testament scholar and author, Patricia Tull, on the topic of Faith, Scripture, and the Ecological Crisis, as well as two of Project Eden’s own leaders, Sara Sterley and Keith Carlson, on how they reconnect with God through His creation. Following some discussion time over a mostly local lunch, we split up to learn some spiritual disciplines with a creation care theme and take a hike with Fishers Parks’ Chief Naturalist and Project Eden volunteer, Danesa Stolz.
As we planned the retreat, we hoped that our attendees would have the opportunity to pause from their busy lives and have a chance to reconnect with God. Just before we set out for our hike, the rain clouds drifted away, the warm sun bathed our faces, and the birds began their springtime songs, almost as if they were singing just for us.
We were reminded after just a few short hours together focusing on God’s creation away from the hustle of everyday life that, as George Washington Carver famously said, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
Lots of ways to stay involved with Project Eden:
Join the Project Eden Gardens!
Help us prepare the gardens for the season. May 14-17. Times TBD. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.
Join us to finish the pond restoration at Grace 146th Street on June 4.