#AshWednesday Reflections @annawoof

“Maybe it is no mistake that Christians press ash, and dust, and dirt, into our foreheads as we enter into Lent. We long for this symbol of death, and mortality, endings and crumblings… because we know that within it, there is something so deep and comforting. As we acknowledge that the endings are the stuff of which the new beginnings are made, we see that our dust is what makes soil for growth. The God that created us is the same God that is blowing into our dust, like that God did of primordial Adam, creating us anew. That God is the same God that is holding the breadth of the cycles and assuring us that even what is crumbling is being cared for, and that love is being infused at every stage. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, dirt to dirt, remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.

From @annawoof

Seeing those ashes on each other’s foreheads reminds us how we’re all in it together, in this messy, dirty, beautiful, interconnected web of life. And it’s as if in that moment, the dust dissolves that which separates us, as if the ash burns through the illusion that we are anything but fellow humanity, and part of creation. In that moment, we’re all in it together, mortal and human; creation, created, creator; lover and beloved; dust, dirt, heart, and spirit; all mixed together on this sacred evening.”
–Rev. Anna Woofenden

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday
All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

#QuarantineReading: #ThisIsGodsTable @annawoof

Many of you heard Rev. Anna Woofenden speak about her passion for the Garden Church when she visited the New Church of Montgomery several years ago.

A beautiful book has come out of her experiences in cultivating and growing the Garden Church in San Pedro, CA.

Please give a gift to yourself (and to Anna!) by ordering this book to help it reveal parts of you that need tending to, to let go of pre-conceived notions of church, and to learn new ways to love your neighbor.

Hardback, Paperback or Kindle versions are available. Sign into your Amazon account through Amazon Smile, where you can designate a charitable recipient (i.e. The New Church of Montgomery, etc.)


Urban Gardens, Community Engagement, Food & Faith @AnnaWoof @UrbanaU 3/27 + 28

Swedenborg Scholar in Residence and 2019 Award Recipient, Rev. Anna Woofenden (Founder of the Garden Church, Feed and Be Fed Far, and the co-host of the Food and Faith Podcast) will deliver two lectures at Urbana University in the coming weeks. Mark your calendar to attend:

Food and Faith: Conversations from the Soil and Around the Table” March 27, 2019, 7:00 pm, Urbana University Library; Quiet Wing

Urban Gardening and Community Engagement” March 28, 2019, 1:00 pm, Student Center; Moore Conference Room


Anna grew up in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. She has lived around the country and traveled throughout the world. Anna is now based in Gambier, Ohio, with her husband, David. She enjoys nature, gardening, art, children, writing, community, singing, laughter, and a good cup of chai. She is passionate about spirituality, justice, food, the earth, beauty, compassion, and community, and is still driven by a calling to re-imagine church.

For more information, contact Samantha Kapp-Williamson at samantha.kappwilliamson@urbana.edu


Guest Minister Rev. @AnnaWoof Explores “Mary’s Song” #ThisSunday

This Sunday, Guest Minister, Rev. Anna Woofenden delivers her service, entitled, “Mary’s Song”.

Join us for this thoughtful sermon, based on readings 1 Samuel 2: 1-10 and Luke 1: 3956. During this, the season of advent, Rev. Woofenden invites us to consider how Mary’s song ushers in the life and ministry of Christ. 

Let us be your home for the holidays in Cincinnati. Warm your hearts with us, Sunday.

  • Sunday, December 16, 2018
  • Glendale New Church: 845 Congress Avenue, Glendale, Ohio
  • 10:30 am – Hospitalitea & Coffee
  • 11:00 am – Service w/ Guest Minister, Rev. Anna Woofenden

A Place at the Table #Communion

As people of faith we are called to look for and see the light around us, see the place that God is at work in the world, particularly in the faces of those we meet. It is not always easy to see God’s light in each other’s eyes, often we are clouded over by our own prejudice or anxiety or fear. And yet, Christ promises to be that light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome. On Sunday we will explore together how we can stay open and welcome this light into the world and see others through it.

~Rev. Anna Woofenden