First Congregational Church

Camden, Maine


An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Living the Good Life

"Living the Good Life”: Caring for the land and the ecological ethic of the Bible

Led by Rev. Candice Provey

We know that all economies begin to lie as soon as they assign a fixed value to land. People who have been landless know that the land is invaluable; it is worth everything…Whatever the market may say, the worth of the land is what it always was: it is worth what food, clothing, shelter and freedom are worth; it is worth what life is worth.
—Wendell Berry

What does it mean to "live the good life,” in ancient times and in our own? And what does this have to do with the land and how we use it? Join us for this five-week course as we explore together foundational Biblical texts in conversation with the agrarian ethic and poetic wisdom of Wendell Berry. All who wish to participate need to register for this course in order to receive a Zoom invitation. Class sessions will take place from 11–12:30 each Sunday following worship.

April 25: A certain way of seeing: Through the formal artistry found in the opening chapter of Genesis, we consider the complex web of creation, the centrality of seed and soil, and how divine delight shapes human dominion.

May 2: Good and then gone: Turning to Genesis 2, we discuss what it means to meet the expectations of the land, and what happens when we fail.

May 9: A wilderness economy: In the Book of Exodus, we contrast the Egyptian economy with a new communal economy revealed through the ethics of eating.

May 16: A tragic imagination: With the words of the Hebrew prophets Amos and Isaiah, we discover how prophetic poetry shapes a new social vision and a collective call to action.

May 23: For the love of land: With the ancient biblical witness of the poetic book called the Song of Song, we weave together a vision of faithful human love in the context of God’s Edenic dream for the world.

Being Present to the Divine in Nature Series

A group is forming to offer regular outings in nature that will also include times for reflection. This time for reflection may come in the form of poetry, an invitation to pay special attention via the senses, prayer, and more. The locations and level of strenuousness will vary. At least some of these opportunities will be intergenerational. Please stay tuned for the first date! If you would like to be part of planning such outings, please contact Ute at ute@camdenucc.org.


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