I am Renee Tahja, I have been a Methodist my entire life, I grew up in Wyoming and I graduated from the University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture. I have worked both as Petroleum Engineer and Chemist. I am currently a K-12 substitute teacher in CCSD. I am a wife and mother to two amazing boys ages 5 and 8.
It was in March that I felt a connection and a passion for “The Land” and the ministry it offers. For years I felt comfortable with my relationship and with Christ. I came to church, I followed “the rules” of a good Methodist, supported ministries of the church, gave my offering, and l loved others. In the spring of 2016 I felt an almost uneasy calling for something more, a deeper relationship, or call for a greater being or service. At this time I was in a Path group and also reading Last Call: From Serving Drinks to Serving Jesus by Rev Jerry Herships. It was both The Path and the book that helped me realize a direction/action for this call. I realized that I had neighbors that feel that because of past mistakes, or lifestyle choice or simply because of who they love, feel judged, or unwelcome, or undeserving to come to church. “The Land” is taking the Love of Christ beyond the walls of the Church to all People.
The truth is none of us deserve the Grace of God and Unconditional love of Christ. The Good news is that Grace and Love do not have to be earned, they are gifts. Gifts given to us over and over despite our choices, mistakes, judgement of others, or our circumstances. I see “The Land” as a place where people can worship and through agricultural practice come to know this truth. How amazing! A place where you can grow spiritually while growing healthy nutritional food for our neighbors. A place to be loved and to serve. I am excited for the edible labyrinth. A seed holds so much promise, the promise of new life, growth, and eventually fruit. I look forward to walking the labyrinth, growing my spiritual “seed”, while observing the promise and growth of every seed into a plant. In addition, many people find and feel closest to God not in a church building built by man, but in nature, the world, on the land He created for us.
I see “The Land” providing an all welcoming, all loving place where everyone from any walk of life or any lifestyle can gather to worship, to find or deepen their relationship with Christ, receive and share the love of Christ, and provide a venue for community education, and serve God through agricultural practices.
On Friday while serving friends without homes in Civic Center Park, a woman asked me “Why? Why do you do this?” (meaning why do you take time to bring her and other homeless lunch). My answer is simple because there is always room in this world for more love. Love is the greater than all of the pain in the world. To me “The Land” is a place of Love.