April 9, 2012 Contacts: Simran Sethi, KU School of Journalism, Ary Guererro, KU Ecumenical Campus Ministries, (785) 843-4933

Farmers, faith leaders, scholars and activists to explore intersection of Christianity, food and agriculture.

The full-day conference “Sowing and Reaping: Christian Perspectives on Food and Agriculture” will be on April 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ecumenical Campus Ministries at 1204 Oread Ave. The event will feature 16 speakers sharing diverse perspectives on food and agriculture, starting with soil and seed and traveling the journey food takes to reach our table.

County commissioner Nancy Thellman will give an introduction and an opening blessing. Local farmers Phil Holman-Hebert and Bart and Margit Hall will offer presentations on forging intimacy through soil and farming as ministry. Community organizers Rachel Jefferson, Linda Quinn and Rachel Myslivy will speak about the social justice components of food access and urban agriculture. Kansas Farmers Union president Donn Teske will address the moral implications of the Farm Bill. Christina Holt, director of the Lawrence Hunger Project, and Just Food executive director Jeremy Farmer will discuss individual responsibility to global and local hunger. ECM Reverend Thad Holcombe and Trinity Lutheran Church Senior Pastor Gary Teske will present on raising and sharing food with gratitude. The full schedule is available on Facebook.

“We are coming together in community for a thoughtful, heartfelt discussion about the sacred aspects of food and agriculture,” said KU professor Simran Sethi, the conference curator and organizer. “As evidenced by the extraordinary work done on hunger and on behalf of farmworkers’ rights, faith is a powerful motivator for engagement and change.”

“To grow food and eat in a way mindful of the Holy is to acknowledge God’s caring way with creation and respond to an invitation to join in that endeavor,” ECM campus minister Thad Holcombe said. “To participate in all or part of this conference is an opportunity to clarify and be engaged in a call for justice on how we grow and consume the bounty of creation.”

The event is for the entire community. Sethi explains, “The focus on Christianity is intended to deepen roots and connections within a single faith tradition. It is the starting point for a broader interfaith dialogue.”

The event is free and open to all. A local, mainly organic lunch will be available on a sliding scale of $5-15. Please visit the Facebook event page here for the full list of speakers and to RSVP for the event. Contact ECM at (785) 843-4933 to reserve a meal. The event will also be live-blogged on Twitter under the hashtag #kufood.

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