I am Mary Jane Harmony, recently retired after spending 40 years with a Haliburton company, Hewlett Packard, and most recently a Small Business Administration lender. I was raised in the same Methodist church in Wichita Falls, Texas that my mother and grandparents attended, but left the church and church life for a significant part of my adult life. I returned in 2000 when I found a home at Hope UMC in Greenwood Village. I have been on a spiritual path literally and figuratively since then.
I was introduced to the concept of The Land several years ago when it was first being presented at Hope. From the very beginning I was excited about the possibilities that this new concept of a faith community provided, and I am still excited about it. My spirit thrives out of doors. When I am walking in the woods or along a stream, I feel a connection to the Holy One more deeply than anywhere else. I believe this is true of many others. Trees and birds and animals have a direct connection to nature and to God that I lose touch with in a busy life. That is why The Land is so appealing to me – because of the direct connection to nature and to God.
There are many individuals in our community who were not raised in the church as I was and who would never consider attending a worship service. The idea of changing the location and method of worship from being surrounded by hymns and a beautiful building to being sung to by meadow larks and gold finches is delightful to me, and I believe it would be welcoming to many who would not enter a formal church.
Looking across the raw land as it is today, it is easy to visualize the future. I can see the labyrinth, the orchard, the walkways and the outdoor amphitheater. I can imagine myself walking and praying there. I can imagine the people I will be learning to love there, and it is a rich image.