This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 11, 2014

A Different Kind of Resurrection

May 11It’s been almost two years that the little fenced-off patch of land beside the door of the Memorial Hall has lain abandoned. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure: the Beltline Communities Association has been looking for a location for a community garden, and it’s a brilliant ministry opportunity for our abandoned patch of land. Gardening is good for us in all sorts of ways: apart from the physical benefits, it reduces stress, improves your mood, eases symptoms of depression, and it can even lower the risk of dementia. And perhaps even more importantly, it can play a crucial role in building community. Social isolation is a big issue in this high-density neighborhood of ours. A community garden gives people a reason to interact with their neighbours and build connections with strangers, which in turn builds safety, supports diversity and promotes neighborliness, and that can have huge knock-on effects for our collective physical and mental health.

You’ll see the garden being installed over the next few weeks, and we’ll be planting on May 31, the day of the Community Fair we’re hosting in the Lower Hall. All members of St. Stephen’s are warmly welcome to participate in the Community Garden, and you are particularly encouraged to get involved if you’re also a resident of this neighborhood. We’ll even be hosting some gardening classes (specific to our climate!) on June 7, 14 and 21 to help get you started – details are on the bulletin board.

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