Homesteading 101

As we’ve worked on renovating our farm and making plans for the future, our major focus has been to learn to live with less. We’ve spent a lot of our time learning new skills like gardening and upcycling. When we started, we had no idea that what we were doing was homesteading!  Of course, now that we know, it makes Google and Pinterest searches much easier.  😉
I’m pretty sure I’ve read every list out there on the top 10, 12, 15 skills you need to start homesteading, so I wanted to share with you some reasons to homestead and some places to get started.
Once upon a time, homesteading referred to the granting of public lands to families for farming at little to no cost. In recent years, the word has taken on a new meaning and refers to a life of self-sufficiency. There are as many ways to homestead as there are people doing it, but the gist of it is to reduce your footprint and consume less by using your skills to grow, to create, or to recycle what you need to live.
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Stewardship of God's Creation

I am so often disappointed when I look around the world and see the way we treat God’s creation. When God left us in charge of things, I don’t think God intended for us to abuse his creation. I think God intended for us to love and to care for his creation as God loves and cares for us, which we are most certainly not doing. I have several friends who are in the rescue business, either canines or equines, and their Facebook pages are continuously filled with sad stories of abuse and neglect. Don’t get me wrong. I understand what it means to fall on hard times and have to re-home your pets, but the volume of animal abuse and neglect in our so-called Christian society is in no way consistent with Christian teachings.
I witnessed a disturbing incident on the way to work the other day. I was driving my usual 5 miles over the speed limit when–as always happens–60 miles per hour just wasn’t fast enough for some hotshot in his supped up, lifted Chevy truck. Just as he came barreling around me and the person behind me, a squirrel darted into the road. I can’t be sure, but I would swear that the driver intentionally hit the squirrel, who realized his error in judgment and tried to retreat. The poor squirrel rolled under the big truck tires and was thrown into the other lane. He clearly did not die on impact. It was heartbreaking. I have no great love for squirrels or any other of God’s rodents, but I could never imagine being so callous as to not care that I took a life–any life. Continue reading

Values in Action 2018

On Saturday, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro, TN served as a satellite location for the Values in Action 2018 conference sponsored by the Trinity Institute in New York City. The church charged on $20, which included a continental breakfast and catered lunch. The speakers included:

  • Most Rev. Michael B. Curry: Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church since 2015, first African American presiding bishop.
  • Michelle Alexander: civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar, and best-selling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
  • Pádraig Ó Tuama: poet and theologian based in Belfast, Ireland. Teaches religion, storytelling, and conflict transformation.
  • Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman: Episcopal priest, political strategist, and author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity.
  • Jose Antonio Vargas: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker and founder of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America.
  • Deirdre Good:  Theologian in Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street, formerly served as Academic Dean at General Theological Seminary and Interim Associate Academic Dean at Drew Theological School.
  • Adnan A. Zulfiqar: legal scholar, educator, strategist, Assistant Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School, a Truman National Security Fellow, and a member of the Urbane Development Collaborative.
  • Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, PhD: Associate Professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Campaign Coordinator for “American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters.”
  • Rev. Winnie Varghese: Priest and Director of Justice and Reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street.
  • The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones: Priest & Director for Core Values & Latin America & Caribbean Relations at Trinity Church Wall Street.

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