We are excited and thankful to share a new documentary on Rural Ministry created by filmmaker Alauna Yust and the Faith+Lead team. It shares the story of the mission and ministry Good Courage Farm led by Episcopal Priest Kerri Meyer, supported by Lutheran Pastor Christian Muellerleile, and many others beyond the Vineyard Stewards group you will see in the video.
This story is about a smaller fruit farm and a unique ministry. Not all farming and agriculture happens on large farms. Many people grow food and farm in ways that we rarely notice in our talk about rural contexts, which often focuses on larger farms or ranches. Part of the mission of this video is to open eyes to see the varieties of agriculture present and learn about new/old models of growing food. Another goal is to open your imagination around how to mix old and new ministry models to connect with a new generation of Jesus followers through attention to the gifts of God’s creation.
The video “Regenerative Farming: Regenerating Soil and Lives” shares the story of a unique regenerative fruit farm ministry, Good Courage Farm, located near Hutchinson, Minnesota. The video invites you to see the beauty of creation, care for the land, and notice how God speaks through the gifts of creation.
This ministry lifts up the beauty of ancient forms of worship, explores regenerative agriculture and faithful innovation, and invites you to notice the growth of a deeper community. The video leads us to wonder what God might be saying to us through creation about our God and our spiritual life. It will give you things to ponder as you learn about ministry at the intersection of faith, food, caring for creation, and loving our neighbors.
Alongside the video, we’re sharing additional resources as blog posts with downloadable discussion guides on the video’s key themes: Regenerating Soil and Lives.
As we move through the coming months these resources will invite you to imagine ways to use and share the video in a class, small group, Bible/book study, or to enhance your own personal learning.
There are pathways to go deeper into learning about regenerative agriculture and regenerative ministry.
Before going further, take a moment to watch the video by clicking on the button above.
This video opens the doors for a variety of uses and reflection. It is…
- …an introduction to regenerative farming that thinks about farming crops, fruit and vegetables in ways that build up the soil and land. It seeks to nurture a symbiosis where plants and animals living in relationship mutually flourish.
- …a powerful reminder of how God continues to work in the fields and in our lives to create growth. In the life of this farm and ministry, there is a theme of how God uses older gifts to create new life in both the farm and in the ministry.
- …the story of a ministry that is touching lives and has a different mission than many congregations. It will stretch your imagination.
- …an invitation to ponder what faithful innovation might look like for your community of faith, where you might touch and join God in regenerating the lives of people inside your community and also create a “permeable space” where people outside of your community of faith might find an opening to explore their spiritual lives and practices.
Beginnings: Seed Sent and Planted
In the opening of the video The Rev. Kerri Meyer shared the story of how the Good Courage Farm and ministry came to be.
Connect with Creator
“I have always had a longing to connect with our Creator through the goodness of creation.”
Pastor Kerri talks about being like a seed sent from St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco to a new place.
This is the full video we used a clip from. Notice the color, movement, and engagement of the worshiping community.
At the farm they seek to create a space that’s permeable to people without a faith home and folks who do have a faith home. Finding ways to do that is worth some holy stewing in whatever form your faith community takes.
Love the neighbor
Pastor Kerri says: “One of the things that I was really connected to when I was serving at St. Gregory’s was the food pantry, which a lot of folks might be familiar with from the writing of Sarah Miles. That food pantry was a life-changing experience for me. We fed 400 or 500 families every week with fresh produce … I had worked in food access work here in Minnesota, but it was always tinned everything and boxed everything … [W]e could give away fresh vegetables in California … I really wanted to … go a little further upstream than the work of emergency food supply and the avoidance of food waste by salvaging food that would’ve otherwise not fed human beings. I wanted to get to the part where food is produced and to do that with justice and access and deliciousness and health and sound ecological practices in mind.“
Speaking of going further upstream … where is God calling you to go beyond the initial place you were called, to explore a new way or deeper ways to love your neighbor and care for creation?
The vocation of Faith+Lead is summed up in our vision statement: All God’s people equipped to love and lead in the way of Jesus.
What would the mission and vision statement for your life say in less than fifteen words?
In future installments we will share more resources and stories from this ministry. Each blog article and ebook will highlight one of the themes in the video. We are thankful for all the people doing regenerative farming and ministry in many forms. We are thankful that Good Courage Farm was willing to let us share their story. Join them for “Pie and Prayer” if you are in the area on Sundays or Wednesdays.
How might you use this video?
It can be used personally or communally to get your imagination and reflection cooking.
- It is a 17-minute documentary that you could watch in its entirety at one sitting.
- You could use the section headers to focus on a topic area that is shorter to fit your time and work.
- Origin & Mission – Regenerating Soil and Lives – 0:00
- Renewing Soil and Spirit – 3:57
- Pruning and Harvesting – 10:48
- Death and Resurrection – 15:46
- You could watch and discuss the sections in sequence.
A Prayer for Agriculture
Almighty God, we thank you for making the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits of the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are also actively looking to share other stories about small-town and rural ministries in different contexts which would lift up the many callings of rural life. We also hope to hear from you about what was most helpful and your ideas for other videos or topics related to small town and rural ministry.
Download our Seed Sent & Planted Workbook:
Regenerative Farming: Regenerating Soil and Lives