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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ministry That Includes Agroforestry

As I continue discernment as an aspirant for Unitarian Universalist ministry more clarity is very gradually developing regarding what shape my work might take. Although this Fall I'm not actively in seminary due to a building fire that destroyed my apartment last month (July 2021), I am enrolled in a course in agroforestry through the University of Missouri as a non-degree-seeking student. Class started just this week, and I'm loving the material covered already. We'll see if I still feel the same in a few weeks! 

Having grown up as part of the fifth generation of my paternal side on the farm I spent a lot of time in the fields and woodlands of northeast Missouri. Although traditional farming never appealed to me as a profession, working with growing things certainly did. Now, in what might be the third phase of my life (childhood, young adulthood, middle age, retirement) if I live long enough, I'm finding that the various threads of my proclivities, aptitudes, and life experience are coming together in a new way. 

Early on I wanted to be in ministry, and I was for a time. Then I found my way slowly into project management, working primarily in infrastructure technology for multinational media companies. This is still the field I am in, but as I sort through what it would mean for me to be a UU minister I've found that community development is a key concern, and my lifelong twin loves of gardening and hiking remain. It's only natural that I'm thinking of ways to bring the science and practice of agroforestry to bear on the well-being of communities. 

With that, here's a good, brief intro to what agroforestry is all about. I'm sure I'll be posting a lot more in relation to it here in the future.