August 2, 2023

Catania Community Gardens

Christina Sternberg

Clarity in the Gospel, Excellence in Agriculture

Meeting Jesus in the Garden

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 

John 20:15

God created man in a garden.  Before Christ died he found repose in a garden.  When he rose again it was in a garden and he was even mistaken for the gardener!  When Christ hung on the cross he described heaven as “paradise” to the thief who had trusted in him. 

In, Jesus The True And Greater Gardener, an article all of Christendom should read, Nick Batzig says:

“ Jesus began His sufferings in a Garden in order to show that he came to undo what Adam had done… Jesus concluded his sufferings in a garden to show that he accomplished all that Adam failed to accomplish.”

Batzig, Nick.  “Jesus, The True and Greater Gardener.”  Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The Christian Collective. 25 September 2014. Web. January 21 2017.

Christ, through the church, is restoring the Eden he originally intended.

And now we as part of his church, have the opportunity to call men and women to know this True and Greater Gardener.  Scripture is filled with parallels between cultivating the earth and cultivating the hearts of men.  It is no accident that these parallels exist.  

Through the responsible manipulation of what God has given us in his created world, there is great opportunity for evangelism, Christian growth and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For these very reasons, the Catania Community Garden Project exists.  

The Mission of Catania Community Gardens

Catania Community Gardens designs, creates and provides garden and farm spaces for immigrants and Italian nationals.  In these spaces  those involved hear about and grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the natural contexts of work, skillbuilding, and relationship.  It is within these natural contexts that relationships are built and Christ is demonstrated in word and deed.  

Current Projects:

The Agape Community Garden

The Agape Community Garden is an inner-city garden site used to employ apprentices, offer community gardening classes, sell produce and share the good news.  

Due to its strategic placement, there have been many opportunities to engage immigrants and local community members in the Gospel.

  Below is a historical progression of the site from its’ inception to now.

Winter 2017
Spring 2023

This site has served us well and is strategically placed near a state run school that many immigrants attend.  The proximity of the school has allowed for a higher number of immigrants to be involved in the program.

To see and learn more about The Agape Community Garden, go to:

The Shiloh Project

While The Agape Community Garden is perfectly sized for educational programs and moderate vegetable production, it is not big enough for larger scale food production. 

We now have an opportunity to develop and use a much larger piece of land.  The available cultivable area is more than thirty times greater than The Agape Community Garden.  It is owned by a local church with whom we partner in Catania.  They are excited to work with us in reaching the community with the good news.  The site has been named The Shiloh Project.   

Having a larger site will increase our employment capacity for immigrants and those in need.  Offering work to these people meets basic physical needs and provides us with time to disciple those who know Jesus, and share the good news with those who do not.  Simply put, the objective of the project is to make disciples of Jesus Christ in a natural work environment.

Click the link below to learn more about The Shiloh Project

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