The New One Ascension Garden… Completing the Master Plan
We renovated our sanctuary. Then we built the new ECC. When we built the new ECC, it displaced the garden that was in that space. This photo shows one of the day school classes planting their winter vegetables in the area that is now the One Ascension Walkway in front of the ECC. For the last two school years, students and youth have been growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the parking lot. Now that the ECC is built, we are ready to complete our master plan by building the new One Ascension Garden that will be a vibrant outdoor space for the entire One Ascension Community – toddlers to grandparents! The One Ascension Garden will be located at the end of the big parking lot all around the modular which serves as the Maker Space and Life Lab for the school. Pastor Tim presented five goals for the congregation as a whole, in bold, and how the garden fits into that plan is in italics:
- More purposefully position Ascension School and the ECC as conduits for church members: The garden is critical to carrying our nature-focus and Nature Explore Certification from preschool through elementary school and beyond; the school will grow with its garden/nature program… and as the ECC and day school grow, so will the church (and vice versa).
- Establish generosity as a source of personal blessing and spiritual growth: The church’s Generosity Team encourages us to live generously in a variety of ways. The One Ascension Garden will help us live generously on this earth, caring for creation, and being good stewards of the natural resources we have been given. As students, youth, and adults learn about growing food, they will also learn about issues of world hunger, justice, and sustainability.
- Place a big bet on Life Groups as a pipeline to greater member engagement with the church: The new One Ascension Garden will be a premier place for Life Groups (small groups) to meet for food, fellowship, and study. We will also be able to form new groups around gardening, food, and faith. The garden will also be a great gathering place for small groups of teens and young adults.
- Elevate worship to become a central point of the Ascension experience in engaging all age groups: In the new garden amphitheater, we will be able to have outdoor worship. “Garden Church” is a way to grow our faith community. In an empty lot between buildings in L.A., a church built a garden and has worship and dinner every Sunday evening in that space. We can do something similar.
- Encourage all members to engage in personal daily devotions that involve scripture and prayer: Not only will we be growing food in the garden, cooking and eating, and worshipping, but the new One Ascension Garden space will provide ample “nooks and crannies” for prayer and meditation – as well as a wonderful place for prayer retreats and soul care.