The Church Council is playing with this image in answer to the question, “What is First-Faith UMC?”
First-Faith is a garden planted by God in Grand Island in which people of every age and background grow in the knowledge and love of God: we grow disciples of Jesus who transform the world by God’s grace. As a garden of God, we extend God’s invitation to all saying, “Come to my garden, grow, and celebrate the abundance of my grace.”
We are not any garden, but specifically a “Three Sisters” garden – we are corn, climbing beans, and squash – co-planted in the soil of community and so planted to bear an abundant harvest worth celebrating. As corn, we reach high to the sky in worship. As beans, we climb the corn stalks in acts of intentional faith development through small groups and studies. As squash, we spread, reaching out far and wide in mission and service to the world. Corn, beans, and squash need each another. Corn and squash need the nitrogen beans impart to the soil (corn/worship alone depletes the soil of the garden). Squash provides protection with its prickly vines and water retention with its large leaves. Together, the three sisters thrive and produce an abundant harvest worth celebrating, as in harvest festivals.
First-Faith is such a garden: co-planted together by God to be invitational, flourishing through worship, intentional growth, and service, and celebratory, so that the world might become ever more on earth as in heaven.