In the opening years of the twenty-first century, the need for sustainable food systems became a focus of our national conversation.
As a Christian, our cofounder Nurya Love Parish began to wonder:
- How can we re-imagine food systems in a way that more clearly reflects God’s reign?
- Where are the Christians working for a better food system, and how can I join them?
- Are there existing Christian food projects that I could replicate or adapt in my context?
She asked these questions for a few years without seriously trying to find answers. But while they remained unanswered, they only grew in importance.
I went into Google this afternoon, and in quote marks I typed ‘Catholic Food Movement,’ and there was one hit. I typed ‘Christian Food Movement,’ and there were two hits,” [Nigel] Savage said last week at the Jewish Theological Seminary, during the kickoff event for Hazon’s new Jewish Environmental Ethics Series. “I typed ‘Jewish Food Movement,’ and there were 81,300 hits.
Mr. Savage goes on to make the point that the Jewish community’s embrace of the good food movement is widespread and significant. But when Nurya read these words, she started asking a more pointed question: Is there a Christian food movement? If so, where is it?
The Guide Begins
Nurya started looking around on the Internet and talking to friends with similar interests. In November 2014, she published a week of links on faith and food on her Churchwork blog and asked for feedback and additions. In March of 2015 she put those links plus more into a downloadable guide.
Nurya was touched and grateful when some of the people she most admired in the Christian food movement thanked her and started publicizing the guide of their own initiative. Over three hundred downloads later it became clear that a new version was needed. Abby VanderBrug, Michael Edwardson and Erin Skidmore all worked with Nurya on the second version. After 1000 downloads and a fundraising campaign, the guide became a website where you can add your own listing to the directory and keep up on news at the intersection of Christian faith, sustainable agriculture, and food security. Plainsong Farm stewards the site as part of our ministry.