Resurrection Matters

Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake

Nurya Love Parish

May/2018, 152 Pages, PAPER, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9781640650145

• How to build resilience in local communities and evangelize the millennial generation
• An ecology of renewal and resurrection for today's church

Resurrection Matters is a fruitful study and action guide for any church institution that owns property and in which groups gather together to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. It helps groups connect their faith and the assets that they steward for God's mission, recognizing these assets as gifts for ministry with their wider community. It encourages theological reflection and practical action for renewal for the church, greater biodiversity for the planet, and relief for the poor.

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Audience: lay leaders (vestries, etc.), clergy, environmental activists, Christian Food movement, community gardeners, those involved (diocesan, parish) with property oversight, evangelism teams.

Nurya Love Parish was raised in a nonreligious home and is an adult convert to Christianity and the Episcopal Church. She is co-founder and Executive Director of Plainsong Farm, a new farm-based ministry, and priest-in-charge with Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, both in greater Grand Rapids, Michigan. She serves on the Episcopal Church's Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation and the 79th General Convention's Legislative Committee on Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation. As a former deanery chair and member of the Diocese of Western Michigan's Bishop Search Team and Diocesan Council, she is intimately familiar with the challenges of church renewal today. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, she has more than twenty years of ministry experience spanning two denominations and the pre- and post-digital age. Follow her at www.churchwork.com.

“Nurya Love Parish has emerged as a leader in the Christian Food Movement, drawing together pastors, farmers, laypeople, activists, gardeners, students, and scholars. In this book we learn about her personal journey, and her thinking about why a food movement matters for Christian faith. Resurrection Matters is a timely book that informs and inspires. It helps us see that growing and sharing food are not tangential to faith, but go to its core.”
––Dr. Norman Wirzba, Professor of Theology and Ecology, Duke Divinity School

“We in the church like to talk about resurrection, but Nurya Love Parish has been practicing it. Now, with Resurrection Matters, she shows us how to breathe in the Spirit and find new life for our declining church and endangered earth. We would all do well to listen to her witness.”
––The Rev. Ragan Sutterfield, author of Wendell Berry and the Given Life

“When all around we hear stories of death, it is difficult to keep our eyes on God’s promise of resurrection. And yet a deep trust in resurrection is precisely what drove Nurya Love Parish to hand over the keys to her home and her family's life savings in faithfulness to God’s call. Looking to the cycles of death and rebirth active throughout all of creation, Nurya finds faith that God is committed to the promise of making all things new—and that it is the responsibility of the Church to participate. In Resurrection Matters, Nurya asks us to consider if perhaps the deaths we grieve today might actually be a necessary step in the process of resurrection; and if perhaps the flourishing of the Church works hand-in-hand with the flourishing of creation. This book reminds us that though our churches have a lot of difficult work to do, God is at work guiding us into both ecclesial and ecological renewal if only we have eyes to see and the humility to take part.”
––Kendall Vanderslice, head baker at Simple Church (dinner church) and an explorer of the intersection of food, faith, and culture

“Nurya brings fresh insight, wisdom, and an honest view of the church's relationship with God’s creation. With personal narrative and reflections woven into this deeply engaging, readable book, Nurya offers a hopeful vision for both the church and all who care about the earth.” 
––The Rev. Stephanie M. Johnson, co-chair of The Episcopal Church’s Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation and co-author of A Life of Grace for the Whole World

“As we strive to live out our baptismal vows and answer our call to be good stewards of all God’s creation, Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake will aid and abet. Nurya draws from a wide experience as priest and agrarian evangelist with theological insight and practical ideas.”
––Brian Sellers-Petersen, author of Harvesting Abundance: Local Initiatives of Food and Faith

“Open to the wisdom and meaning-producing content of our sacred stories and history as held in our scriptures, and attentive and curious about the lessons contemporary science continues to yield, the Rev. Nurya Love Parish has written a book, Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake, that asks us to cultivate and receive reverence. Reverence is a religious and spiritual quality that is part of our healthiest and best spiritual practices. Nurya described how she grounded herself in God’s wisdom and courageously leapt into the unknown, the creation of Plainsong Farm. Being reverent inside the Church as we know it; being reverent as a farmer––if we take to heart Nurya’s experience with Plainsong Farm we will be in the position to make our own leaps of faith and become part of a new flowering of God’s Church, a new season of relating to God’s Creation in a sustainable way. I recommend Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake to you with enthusiasm.”
––The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California

Introduction
Prelude: Religion Matters
Chapter 1: Taking Resurrection Seriously
Interlude: A Memorial to the Church
Chapter 2: The Ecology of Renewal
Interlude: Learning to Listen
Chapter 3: Things Fall Apart
Interlude: From Denial to Doughnuts
Chapter 4: Taking Stewardship Seriously
Interlude: Meeting Millennials in Gardens and Fields
Chapter 5: Neighbors Together
Interlude: Finding the Christian Food Movement
Chapter 6: Pray, Then Plan
Postlude: Founding Plainsong Farm
Study Guide
Appendix
  A. Planning Checklist for Households
  B. Planning Checklist for Congregational Leaders and Church Task Groups
  C. Planning Checklist for Dioceses
  D. Memorandum of Understanding
  E. Community Supported Agriculture Information
  F. Suggested Resources

Keywords

  • stewardship
  • environment
  • renewal

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