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Pruning and Praying in Rural Minnesota

Fellowship in Christ volunteers with Good Courage Farm, and Fátima tells us all about it.

Fellowship in Christ volunteers with Good Courage Farm, and Fátima tells us all about it.

This year, the Fellowship in Christ board began a commitment to facilitate and organize opportunities for our members (and anyone else who wishes to) to participate in community engagement, volunteering, and service opportunities. This past weekend, after much planning, we finally kicked off the initiative with a pilot service project in collaboration with Good Courage Farm, and it was a blast.

Our New Friends

Two students kneel next to the dried berry plants and use shears to prune them.
Hannah and Brian work hard to get rid of these dried-up berry trees.

Good Courage Farm is an Episcopal ministry that brings together people from all faiths and none to work for food and environmental justice through regenerative farming practices. Carls have been involved with them for a couple of years now, sending volunteers and summer interns their way. We wanted to be part of that community, so we reached out to them and they invited us to visit them to help prepare the berry plants for the spring, and to do some fellowship and worship together.

The Day

The Reverends Kerri and Christian, as well as their families, welcomed us with open arms. They had prepared for us a cozy fire and some delicious apple crips and hot tea and gave us a tour of the relatively small yet beloved farm. We got to learn about their history and mission and after a quick reading and reflection on Scripture, moved to the greenhouse where we would be working with various berry trees.

Three students pet an orange and white kitty.
We met an adorable pet-loving kitty who joined us for prayer and worship.

Pruning and chopping the plants was a most satisfying task. With so many hands we quickly moved through the rows of dried sticks and cleaned up the place, so that the new blossoms would have space to grow even taller and healthier and bare lots of delicious fruit! After a couple of hours of work, we took a little break to walk about the farm on our own and reflect on the experience and, especially, how it connected to our faith.

A selfie of the author and four curious goats.
During my solitary walk, I met four silly goats!

We ended the day on the farm with some prayer and worship in the silo, which serves as the farm’s chapel and gathering place. It was a beautiful moment to share with each other and the kitty that visited us, and a fantastic way to wrap up our Saturday.


A selfie of the team sharing a table and food in Culver's.
I had so much fun making memories with these lovely people!

Back in Northfield, we stopped by Culver’s to get some dinner and hang out. Nothing like good food and friends to culminate a day filled with laughter, faith, and nature that I will surely remember fondly as one of the best times I’ve had in college for years to come.

As a junior, Fátima (she/her) is excited to continue her pursuit of a SOAN major and (hopefully!) Educational Studies, Latin American Studies, and Cross-cultural Studies minors. Outside class, she enjoys her leadership roles with Fellowship in Christ and the Undergraduate Journal for Humanistic Studies. In her free time, Fátima likes spending time with her mentee, poorly playing the piano, watching cartoons, and desperately missing her dog, Cosmo. Meet the other bloggers!