Parable Prayer Gardens
Parable Prayer Gardens with themed planting, places to sit and reflect, and inherent opportunities to participate in seasonal gardening activities, offer people fresh ways of:
- Engaging with Jesus teaching on the kingdom of God through parables such as the sower and good shepherd
- Deepening understanding of spiritual truths using everyday objects, relationships and processes.
- Discipleship for all ages using the outdoors through creativity and gardening
A Parable Prayer Garden area where people can engage in reflective gardening enables multi-sensory exploration and creative reflection on God as Creator, the person of Jesus, and the Kingdom of God. This area could be an adaptation of an existing reflective garden either purposefully designed to reflect a parable theme, which might include grape vines, fruit trees, beds of wheat and wild flowers. For examples of designs read more...
Parable Garden team can support the design process which offers churches educational, creative and spiritual potential for:
Engaging with Seasons and related gardening activities linked to pastoral themes for all ages, enriching partnerships with schools and other community groups. Parable Garden provides resources and practical help for churches to creatively support their local schools in enriching RE, Christian ethos, character education collective worship and reflection. Read more...
Gardening for all age groups, brings a new awareness of the changing seasons, with their positive and negative influences on plant growth, as well as a great sense of reward. Together, the seasons make up a complete year, and can illustrate different stages of journeying through our lives.
Discipleship for all ages through creativity and gardening - gardening the heart.
Practical gardening skills can bring fresh insights and meaning, such as cultivating vines links to Jesus’s key teaching on abiding in the vine. Jesus speaks of himself as the vine and his people being the branches, and that fact that they need annual pruning. A vine needs to be pruned to make it fruitful with large bunches of grapes. Without pruning, a vine grows lots of foliage and small bunches of grapes.
Seeing something grow or enabling seeds to grow to maturity, or a bare patch of ground come to life, filled with a variety of blooms, insects and butterflies, is life enhancing. The gardening process brings people of all ages a great sense of achievement. Parallels in life and spirituality can be drawn from every aspect of gardening.
Parable Garden Quiet days
A garden’s seasonal cycles and rhythms as they reflect stages and situations in life’s journey, have endless potential as a starting point to Quiet days and creative reflection. Exploring disciplines of stillness and silence outdoors as a ‘meeting place with God’ are invaluable tools for reflection. Parable Garden host Quiet Days for adults in partnership with churches, groups and individuals on seasonal and parable themes. These often include opportunities for gardening and creative activities as reflective tools. Read more...
Why a parable-themed garden or outdoor area?
Parable Garden offers communities fresh approaches to teaching on the Kingdom of God through creative engagement with the parables, helping people to explore and deepen understanding of spiritual truths using everyday objects, relationships and processes.
Nature and natural processes mirror the character and kingdom of God. Most people have some kind of connection with the natural environment, be it through walking, gardening, growing vegetables, sports activities, picnicking, wildlife and art interests. However with the demands of today’s society, many people don’t have the time or opportunity to consider the rich spiritual connections that exist between nature, natural processes and Christ, His character and life.
Nature mirrors the Divine. “for since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and Divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1 v 20)
This disconnection between man and the natural environment hinders spiritual awareness and growth both of individuals, churches and communities.
Parable Garden offers workshops and resources for churches, small groups, schools and individuals, to help people creatively explore or rediscover these connections.
The value of creative approaches to teaching and learning is universally recognised in many spheres, not least in the church, but more opportunities are needed. It has been reported by educationalists that you only remember 10% of what you read, but 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 90% of what you do.