top of page

9 years making church together



May 1st marks 9 years that we have had the gift of making church together in a once empty lot turned communal garden. This last year has brought us new blessings. We marked 1 year with Rev. David C. Brown as one of our Pastors, and we celebrated Connie's consecration in September of 2023. It has been such a gift to grow in ministry with both of these kind, loving and faithful pastors. This year we have seen our church community grow with the addition of 6 new members and one baptism. We also said good bye to one of our beloved founding members and former board chair Annette Ciketic who passed from this life to more life on March 1, 2024 surrounded by her family. 



In August of last year we celebrated our children who were growing in faith with the gift of a Bible. Having become strong readers, Leia and Leila were given bibles from our church. It is a blessing to see these little ones grow in faith and love of the Lord. In September we welcomed back our founding Pastor Rev. Anna Woofenden to preach for Connie's consecration. We had a tremendous celebration as Connie became the Licensed Pastor of The Garden Church. This winter has been particularly wet and sent us indoors for worship on several occasions. We have been blessed by good neighbors who continue to share their indoor space with us. One of our new neighbors, Sunken City books, run by PCA member, Wayfarers chapel person, and seminary student Ben Gunter has become the new meeting place for our Theological Thursdays education group run by Rev. Dave. 



A few months ago the Swedenborgian worshiping community closest  to us received some devastating news. They would no longer be able to meet in their building or on their grounds. The closure of Wayfarers Chapel in February has had an impact on The Garden Church, both because of the devastating sense of loss for our larger community and because of several wonderful people who are active in both communities. Each Sunday we pray for those who call the chapel home and for the future of the structure and the worshiping community that is currently displaced. We did also receive word from Rev. Dan Burchett, Executive Director of Wayfarers that they will (understandably) not be able to complete their financial commitment supporting the Garden Church this year. The members of the Wayfarers community remain committed to providing food for our Sunday meals, and we are grateful for their generous spirit. 



As the winter rains subsided and regular sunshine has returned to the garden we were blessed to celebrate spring time with a mostly outdoor (Palm Sunday and Easter had to be indoors due to weather) Holy week. Even though we had to move Easter worship and our egg hunt for children indoors we were blessed with a baptism (more on that below) and more than 70 in attendance for Easter! Earth month brought us even more celebrations with a large Feed and be Fed Earth day Fair and an Interfaith Earth Day Sunday worship arranged in conjunction with the San Pedro Faith Consortium. Our last year in the garden has been one filled with tender moments, miracles, and blessings. We are eager to see what our Lord has in  store this coming year. 



In Gratitude and Faith,


 


Rev. Dr. Amanda Adams Riley


Lead Pastor

on behalf of The Garden Church Board,


Rev. Dr. David C. Brown, and


Licensed Pastor Connie McOsker



Pastor Connie:


In my 7 months as Licensed Pastor I have continued to do the parts at The Garden Church that I was already doing: participating in weekly food organization, set up, planning and performing sections of the liturgy, clean up, dishes and Zero Waste practices. What I am really excited about are all the highlights: the things I did that were new! I have performed the entire liturgy solo (including communion) now, on three occasions. In November, I hosted Rev. Chris Baker of the Swedenborgian General Church from New Jersey, who visited for a weekend and will write about us in his book. I assisted Linda O’Brien Rothe in hosting Interfaith middle and high school students for a day of work in The Garden. I participated in The San Pedro Faith Consortium's Gratitude liturgy. In February, I performed my first funeral in the pouring rain and hosted Tu Bishvat honoring trees with our Jewish brothers and sisters. In March I co-celebrated the ceremony of life memorial for our beloved deceased TGC member Annette Ciketic and baptized my grandson on Easter Sunday. In April, I participated in Feed and Be Fed’s Earth Day Art Fest by gathering earth friendly community education and gathering the Buddhist and Muslim speakers for our Interfaith Earth Day considering The Tree of Life from four faith traditions.


Rev. Dave


The Open Garden has been continuing to grow and thrive with several Fridays reaching over the count of 100 people coming through the gates. The interfaith work both in the fall and the spring have been very important in light of global events and the cancellation of the South Coast Interfaith Council events this past fall. The work being done in the garden continues to enhance the ambiance and cultivate a sacred space where all are welcome to walk through the gate and explore what we have to offer. As a community hub, more new people are coming to us because of a positive experience and the word is out and growing. I also love witnessing the community engagement where people have a skill and they want to help out and share it with us. One example is in the creation of the new sign for Dino, made by a father in the Little Sprouts program. The Garden Church continues to thrive as an intergenerational, educational, and theologically curious open green space in the heart of San Pedro. 


In the summer of 2016 The Garden Church helped establish an independent leadership board for Feed and be Fed. Then in March of 2017 Feed and be Fed became an independent 501c3. Since then, Feed and be Fed has tended the 6th street garden with a team of volunteers, expanded to growing space at the Los Angeles School District Vic and Bonnie Christensen Science Center, and slowly grown first with small community based grants and then with larger local and regional grants. This past year marked a milestone as one of Feed and be Feds's pilot educational programs called Garden Lab received funding from the Crail-Johnson Foundation allowing the program to expand and reach more students. This past year Feed and be Fed also returned to an in person fundraiser in the garden and utilizing Pixels an art studio run by near by Port of Los Angeles (POLA) High School. Also in the fall Feed and be Fed hosted an annual compost event called the Pumpkin Smashing which has become a community favorite event. It was even highlighted in the LA Times. This spring a local arts grant allowed Feed and be Fed to host music and a youth art contest as part of an earth Day celebration. It was a gift to provide an opportunity to enjoy art, and learning opportunities for our community about caring for the earth. 



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios

Obtuvo 0 de 5 estrellas.
Aún no hay calificaciones

Agrega una calificación
bottom of page