Encountering the Spirit in Agrarian Ministries

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Sarah Mast (SSW ‘23) and spouse Greg Mast dream of leading an affirming, land-based liturgical community. They used grant funds to visit seven faith-based agrarian communities during summer ’22: Good Courage Farm in Hutchinson, MN; Plainsong Farm in Rockford, MI; Bellweather Farm in Wakeman, OH; Adamah Farm in Falls Village, CT; Mission Farm in Killington, VT; Heartberry Hollow in Randolph, VT; and Soul Fire Farm in Petersburgh, NY. These visits provided a rich experience of the mission of each farm and inspired them to engage others in agrarian worship.

Inspired by the farm visits, they planned and offered three Farm Liturgies at their family farm near Austin. These bilingual Morning Prayer services, with music also included the opportunity for farm work and a potluck lunch. The services included a land acknowledgement, a confession that focused on sinful treatment of the land and of each other, and a reminder that God hears us in all languages. The attendees were diverse in age, race and ethnicity. The Masts believe that the liturgies offered people the gift of encountering God in a new way, in relationship with land and food and each other. They learned that evangelism requires effort and vulnerability, and they dream of continuing to build faithful community in the context of the land. They also believe that agrarian ministries offer great potential to bring groundedness to the human heart in a frenzied and disembodied dominant culture.

Grant Year
2021-2022
Recipient Name
Mast, Sarah and Greg
Seminary
Seminary of the Southwest
Location
North America