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United Church of Christ
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285 West National Drive
Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 323-2407


Pastor's message

2018 June message

Dear members and friends of St. John’s:

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed, not just on the body but the soul.” Alfred Austin

On Mother’s Day weekend, Laura’s daughters, Emily and Kelsey, and our grandchildren, Eli and Stella, and I got our heads in the sun by surprising grandma with a raised garden. Operation “Secret Garden” could not have been pulled off without the help and expert advice of St. John’s members Ed Hummel, Jeremy Hill and Sandy Johnson. Ed put together the frame, Jeremy cut the pieces for it and Sandy helped Kelsey and me to make good choices while shopping at Wilson’s Garden Center.

In case you are interested in knowing, we planted seedlings (tomatoes, green peppers, onions, chives and basil) and seeds (green beans and peas). The kids did a great job painting sticks to mark off the rows. We topped things off (pun intended) by planting flowers around the yard.

It took close to fifty bags of soil to fill an 8x6 bed. Thanks to beneficial rains sent by God, our need for watering has been minimal.

Though she had not been planning on getting her hands dirty, Laura thoroughly enjoyed her Mother’s Day garden, especially setting aside that little corner just for Eli and Stella to play in the dirt. Whether you have a garden in the backyard or not, I thought you might enjoy some food to nurture your souls with these verses from an unknown author.

Plant three rows of peas:
  • Peace of mind
  • Peace of heart
  • Peace of soul

    Plant four rows of squash:
  • Squash gossip
  • Squash indifference
  • Squash grumbling
  • Squash selfishness

    Plant four rows of lettuce:
  • Lettuce be faithful
  • Lettuce be kind
  • Lettuce be obedient
  • Lettuce really love one another

    No garden should be without turnips:
  • Turnip for meetings
  • Turnip for service
  • Turnip to help one another

    Water freely with patience and Cultivate with love. There is abundance in your garden.... Because you reap what you sow.

    To conclude our garden, We must have thyme:
  • Thyme for God
  • Thyme for study
  • Thyme for prayer

    Pretty nice garden! (Wouldn’t you say?)

    Happy gardening and happy summer to you all!

    In Christ’s Love,

    Rev. Mark

    Rev. Mark Katrick