We are extremely late this year putting in our garden. It’s been quite a journey to try and coordinate all the updates and improvements to the new Interyear house, but having a garden for our Fellows and other residents has been on our list from the beginning. Somehow other things have taken priority even though we’ve had the beds prepared and ready for weeks. We got our plants in the ground this morning. It’s not an ambitious garden, just trying to grow some tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and peppers. Next year we’ll branch out a bit.

This picture is a snapshot of what Interyear Fellowship is all about - establishing roots. We hope that our Fellows will have the safe space to ask big questions about life, meaning, and purpose, all in the context of a loving and caring community that helps to encourage and inspire each other along the journey. Each day we share in morning and evening prayer together helping to open our hearts to the word of God, pray for ourselves and others, and attempt to actively participate in the kingdom of God throughout the day.

During the year our Fellows participate in different spiritual practices and exercises that help to develop and put down some deep roots. They are exposed to new ideas and concepts, themes in scripture, vulnerable with each other, and given responsibilities to help maintain community life in the house. All of the different strands grow into and support the others, forming and being formed by them in the process.

It’s hard to put a finger on the one most important aspect of what Interyear is trying to do; it’s truly the whole experience. Each aspect is critical to the overall success. Our spiritual health requires that we are fed, spend time in reflection, and invest in others. This whole year is about developing this skill of living well with others and putting down some deep roots in order to produce good fruit.

In the most recent Plough Journal, there is an article we read when studying about food and faith by Norman Wirzba, “The Ground of Hospitality.” He sums it up well here in describing the importance of a healthy root system for a plant, but the same truth holds for us in our own lives…

The more the roots grow, the more hospitable the soil becomes, further aiding the fertility of life. The vitality and vigor of plants, not to mention the tastiness of their fruit, depend on maximizing the flow of hospitality that circulates through sunshine, stems, roots, and soil.

The soil at Interyear is rich and fertile. We’d love for you to join us for this next year and put down some deep roots in your faith to prepare for the future God is calling you to live out. If you’re interested (or know someone else who might be), you can apply here on our website.

Tim BomgardnerComment