Story and photo submitted by the Rev. Stephanie Price
Associate Pastor, Hope UMC & Organizer with The Land project
For two years, The Land development team has dreamed of developing a faith community around faith, farming, and food on the 9.7 acres of Rocky Mountain Conference-owned property in Aurora, Colorado. Thanks to a generous $250,000 grant awarded from the Legacy Fund, The Land faith community is now scheduled to begin physical development in the spring of 2016.
The development is organized into two phases ranging from three to five years. The first phase includes a paved drive and 25-spot parking lot, an outdoor amphitheater, and an edible labyrinth made up of 0.9 acres of urban farm and 2.5 miles of handicap-accessible pathway. The second phase will launch when utilities are brought to the property by the surrounding developers and will include The Land’s first building. Following with the vision of integrating spiritual ritual and agricultural practice, this initial building is designed to be a Cathedral Greenhouse providing an indoor space for spiritual and agricultural growth in community.
Since 2013, The Land Faith Community has held four worship services and engaged more than 65 people in its central faith question, “What does discipleship look like in the 21st century?” As development unfolds and accessibility to the property increases, quarterly worship gatherings and regular invitations to connect with The Land will begin.
While The Land will be engaging its current and incoming Aurora neighbors in faith, farming, and food, it is also the development team's hope to engage local congregations of the Mountain Sky Area in this great experiment of transforming our everyday behaviors into acts of worship. Through day-long mission opportunities, engaging educational experiences, and connectional community gatherings, The Land will invite individuals and communities of the Mountain Sky Area to meet us at The Land so together we will seek a renewed relationship between the everyday decisions we make in creation and the ways we experience our Creator.
For more ways you or your community can be involved in The Land, email firstname.lastname@example.org
. Also, keep an eye out for our website in the works at www.thelandumc.org