Why the Garden?

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.”Duke Divinity produced an independent study of Methodist ministers in North Carolina and found that their rate of obesity was 10.3% higher than their fellow North Carolina residents. The author of the study findings stated, “Health interventions that address obesity and chronic disease among clergy are urgently needed.”2

Asbury’s Wellness Lifestyle Declaration states,  “A wellness lifestyle addresses . . . the spiritual unity in the physical, emotional, social and environmental dimensions of life. Wellness lifestyle commitments include

  • Nutrition and fitness 
  • Rhythms of work, rest, and play
  • Self-care commitments (emotional, mental health)
  • Charitable/volunteer contributions (time, talent, treasure)
  • Community and economic development – at home and abroad
  • Creation care and sustainable living.”

John Wesley said,

  • “We ought to preserve our health, as a good gift of God.”  
  • “To glorify Him, therefore, with our bodies, as well as with our spirits; to go through our outward work with hearts lifted up to him; to make our daily employment a sacrifice to God; to buy and sell, to eat and drink, to his glory – that is worshipping God in spirit and in truth, as much as the praying to him in a wilderness.” 
  • “Know you not that your body is, or ought to be, the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?”

Kentucky’s own Wendell Berry states about our care for creation,

  • “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you,”3  and 
  • “Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.”4 

With these thoughts in mind, one can easily see how time in the garden would benefit each person. The seminary’s garden welcomes you to join with us in creating new rhythms of work, rest, and play for yourself and your family.

1 Ogden C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B.K., & Flegal K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 311(8), 806-814. from http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/

2 Proeschold-Bell, R.J., & LeGrand, S. (2010) from http://dukeendowment.org/sites/default/files/evalutaion-reports/High%20rates%20of%20obesity%20and%20chronic%20disease%20among%20UMC%20clergy_formatted.pdf

3 Wendell Berry

4 pg.99, “The Body and the Earth” ― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays.