You don’t often hear the word “celebration” in environmental circles. Words like “loss” or “degradation” might be more common. Here at A Rocha, we hold the somberness of sad environmental news alongside the call to live lives of joyful stewardship. One way we do that is through celebration.

We recently hosted one of our biggest celebrations of the year and are gearing up for another big event come Christmas time. Over 600 people came to our annual Harvest Celebration and participated in a range of activities marking the abundance of the harvest. Garlic braids were made, apple cider was pressed and shared, and delicious flatbread was eaten! Beans were thrashed, pumpkins and squash were sold, and games were played!

Celebration invites inclusion and appreciation for the good things in life. It helps provoke pause and nourishes our lives in a much needed way. We need these life-giving moments of celebration just as much as we need the nutrients from food. It is no simple coincidence that our festivities and ceremonies so often involve a meal or certain foods. What better way to live joyfully while stewarding the earth than to enjoy wholesome, locally-grown food together?

Brené Brown’s words capture a bit of what A Rocha is about in our celebrating: “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.” (Brown, 2017, Braving the Wilderness)

Brown’s choice of the word “celebrating” is intriguing because it points to something not often revered or praised: our inextricable connectedness. Brown wonderfully articulates how joyfully connecting and sharing is a deeply spiritual practice that often manifests itself in celebration–with good food, of course! This sort of celebration naturally makes room for people of all backgrounds to come together in a place of hospitality like A Rocha, to experience essential connectedness to each other, the earth, and to God.

Here at A Rocha, we love celebrating. And we love celebrating with you. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Harvest Celebration. It truly was a joy to share good company, food, music, and activities with you.

Mark your calendars for our next big celebration:

The Christmas Open House

Come and enjoy:

– Hot drinks & treats

– Christmas Shopping

– Caroling

– Site tours

– Kids’ crafts

 

 

– Christina Weinman, Brooksdale Communications Intern