Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore invites teams to take part in a combination training time and work effort on Saturday, Jan. 14, on behalf of its "Garden of Grace" mission program. The training/work day is designed to teach people about organic gardening and winter crop planting, and efforts to grow into a steadily expanding space on the church's five acres of property.
Asbury's Garden of Grace program is about 16 months old and involves raising free organic vegetables to serve a local food program, Open Heart Kitchen, which provides more than 500 hot meals per day every Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m., in the church's Fellowship Hall.
Garden of Grace leadership has developed a training program and hands-on instruction as part of the ongoing project of expanding the church's garden space and capacity to help others.
There is no cost for the training/work day, and groups may take advantage of overnight housing at the church on Friday.
"We have showers! We can handle up to 12 sleeping over on Friday night," says Asbury's pastor, the Rev. Chuck Johnstone. However, he notes, there is a limit to the number of participants who can be trained and managed – "so please pass this invitation on to the right folks in your parish and ask them to contact me as soon as possible," he says.
Itinerary for the Jan. 14 event:
8 a.m.: Coffee and a tour of the current garden
9 a.m.: Training/information session (approx. 60-90 min. long)
End of Training/information session to 4 p.m.: Various projects related to the training and to organic gardening and sustainable agriculture.
Experience in gardening is helpful, but not essential: Enthusiasm about making a difference in being stewards of the earth and producing food to feed the hungry is all that is required.
For more information about the Jan. 14 event or to make mission team reservations, call Rev. Johnstone at 925.447.1950, Ext. 1, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The church does hope to host such a Saturday event each month – so keep it in mind for later if the January date does not work for your group.