Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
Written by Ashley Goff and Rebecca Barnes
During this liturgical season that the Church of the Pilgrims calls "Homecoming," the Sundays between September and the end of November, we are focusing on the theme of Food and Faith. Within the theme of Food and Faith, we are taking on this arc for a focus: humus, exile, and harvest. To fully experience this theme we are having communion each week in worship.
The inspirations for this theme of Food and Faith is Sacred Greens, Pilgrims' urban garden which produces food to supplement meals for Open Table (our Sunday lunch for hungry neighbors). The book "Food and Faith" by Norman Wirzba has also been influential.
The first few weeks we are naming the element that formed our existence: soil. From a theological perspective, we are lifting up the Biblical interpretation that we are formed out of the humus, or topsoil, and it is from that place where the earth creature took it's shape.
"...the soul is the animating element of our humanity and the way we touch the divine. But the spelling is wrong. Soul is properly spelled s-o-l-e. Where is your soul/sole? On the bottom side of your bare feet, in touch with the sacred ‘neath your sole, the soil." One more snipet to make sure you read the treasure below -- "But let’s not lose the main point: cultus (worship), culture and agriculture—we belong to these as the miraculous clods who are cultivators by calling. We are here to maintain the fertility of the soil for on-going life, to “renew the face of the earth,” in the phrase of Ps. 104, and to give glory to God. The ancients would have understood Wendell Berry well. “In talking about topsoil,” Berry says, “it is hard to avoid the language of religion.” So put aside the superstition that soul and soil are separate categories. Decent land-use is not about economics, it’s about cultivation and the state of our souls."