What is Parable Garden about?
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Enabling fresh ways of engaging with the teaching and ministry of Jesus through the outdoors, aspects of cultivation, creativity and parable-themed prayer gardens to resource and enrich:
- Learning about the kingdom of God for all ages through creative reflection on the parables and cultivation, following the example of Jesus in helping people to understand spiritual truths using everyday objects, relationships and processes.
- Creative prayer and worship inspired by the beauty of God's Creation and time taken to become aware of how God communicates through nature.
- Discipleship and pastoral care through harnessing practical gardening and creativity serve as accessible tools for reflection for all ages on the seasonal cycles of growth and renewal inherent in nature and the care of plants. These activities can yield surprising insights to challenges and seasons in our lives, bringing nourishment and healing on our Christian journey.
- Community engagement through facilitating collaborative creativity projects for all ages, seasonal gardening activities and related reflection tailored to each context.
Lessons from nature
God often models spiritual truth in the physical world, which is why David the psalmist describes the whole earth reflecting his glory (Psalm 72:19). God gave Solomon great wisdom and it is recorded that he taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish (1 Kings 4:33) and wrote about them in his proverbs to illustrate character strengths and weaknesses. As history’s most creative communicator, Jesus used illustrations from nature in his teachings to awaken enquiry and to impress his truth upon people’s hearts. Nature is full of lessons which can teach us about God’s character and kingdom principles. Taking time to be outdoors whether walking or sitting quietly and opening the eyes and ears of our hearts to God's creative ways of communicating, can be transformational.
The creative process of working together to create a parable-themed prayer garden for enjoyment as a life-giving resource, enriches individuals, relationships and community life.
Individuals in school and church communities with gardening, pastoral and teaching skills can work together to enable outdoor areas to be developed with parable-garden themed planting and features to facilitate pastoral, social, emotional and spiritual well-being, both individually and corporately.