A Surprising Moment of Wonder and Gratitude

thumb_IMG_0336.JPG_1024By Kyle Mitchell

*This is the second post in a series on Wednesdays exploring components of a mealtime spirituality.  

Cleveland, Ohio

One of the most treasured traditions that I took from growing up in a Christian family is the mealtime prayer. Even now when I go back home for holidays, I know that we’ll gather in a circle before the meal, grasp hands, and ask who’s turn it is to give thanks. My 6-year-old nephew summed it up pretty well last time when he prayed, “Dear God, thank you for everything. Amen.” Continue reading

Witnesses to the Resurrection

100_4998.JPGDuring Fridays in Easter we will be sharing reflections on where folks are seeing resurrection today. Please consider contributing and email it to lydiaiwk@gmail.com

By Kyle Mitchell, Cleveland, OH

I see resurrection happen as the silver maple in the front yard begins it’s spring ritual. Cold nights and warm days produce the mysterious freeze and thaw cycles that allow the sap to flow during the day. Participating in a tradition that began with the indigenous people of North America, I make a small hole in the tree which allows the sap to flow into my bucket during the day. When the buds on the tree “pop” and the sap stops flowing, I take what I have, make a little fire in the backyard, and boil it down to make maple syrup.

Continue reading

Composting as Spiritual Discipline

DSC01674By Kyle Mitchell

Kyle lives with his wife Lynea on the 3rd floor of an old house in Cleveland. They have a couple egg-laying hens in the backyard and tons of red wiggler worms. Kyle spends his days working alongside folks with developmental disabilities on a 2-acre urban farm down the street from his house. In his spare time, he works alongside Lynea in the 2 youth gardens she started in the neighborhood. They are both passionate about growing food, spreading that knowledge, and figuring out ways to get healthy food to folks that don’t have access to it.
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A few years ago I was reading a book on permaculture and I came across a quote about soil that captured my imagination: “The soil is miraculous. It is where the dead are brought back to life.” This launched me into the slow process of being re-wired – seeing with new eyes, altering my actions, converting myself to the truth that the soil is not dead, but alive! I could no longer waste what I once thought was waste. I had to get in touch with the death-brings-life cycles of creation, and I had to do this through a tradition called composting. Continue reading

Watershed Discipleship: Transformation Through Picking Berries

Watershed Discipleship Fridays continues with this piece from Kyle Mitchell, who lives with his wife Lynea on the 3rd floor of an old house in Cleveland. They have a couple egg-laying hens in the backyard and tons of red wiggler worms. Kyle spends his days working alongside folks with developmental disabilities on a 2-acre urban farm down the street from his house. In his spare time, he works alongside Lynea in the 2 youth gardens she started in the neighborhood. They are both passionate about growing food, spreading that knowledge, and figuring out ways to get healthy food to folks that don’t have access to it.
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A few years back, I had a dramatic conversion experience. Someone introduced me to the act of picking berries. Continue reading