Five Loaves Community Garden

Guest ColumnistCommunity News

by Rich Dixon

In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus was poised to teach an expectant crowd about the Kingdom of God. Looking closely, he was moved to compassion by the evidence of their hunger and sickness. First he healed them. Then, to the wonder of his disciples, Jesus gave thanks for the meager provisions at hand and began to pass out food. He modeled to the disciples, and to us, faith-filled trust at God’s power to make the offering sufficient for those in need.

In Santa Barbara, there are many individuals and families going hungry. Our church is partnering with the Santa Barbara Community Development Center (SBCDC) to develop five-acres of our church property and transform it into the Five Loaves Community Garden. Produce from the garden will go to the poor through the existing distribution channels at SBCDC. (This Christian ministry provides a range of services to the poor.) By combining creation care with a ministry of compassion, we hope to put the glory of Christ on display for all.

Santa Barbara A Rocha will oversee the Five Loaves Community Garden on our church property. The groundbreaking will be this April; our goal is to make it a source of fresh produce for 150 individuals by October 2010. The heart of this program will be its volunteers, people just like you. School-age children, families, college-students, retirees – all will be welcome and utilized in a meaningful way.

The Five Loaves Community Garden will also offer rather unique discipleship and outreach opportunities. These include: volunteering to help grow, study, and harvest organic produce; participating in on-site weekly Bible studies and devotionals; summer Creation Care Kids Camp; a college-age Creation Care training institute; organic gardening workshops; and other educational outreach tools.

Contact Rich Dixon at to learn more about how you can volunteer and become involved in this exciting ministry.  If you give to Santa Barbara Community Church, you are already a financial partner in this ministry. Thank you! Come join in the good work as we get our hands really dirty!