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Despite it being gardening season, a group of West Coast gardeners chose to attend a conference rather than get out in their gardens.

The conference, on gardening and spirituality, was hosted by Third Christian Reformed Church in Lynden, Wash., and led by Christine Sine, an organic gardener and blogger who connects faith and spiritual disciplines to everyday life and the passing of the seasons through gardening.

“I came away with a new awareness of how much Scripture says about gardens, how much gardening can teach us about becoming more Christlike. When I am in my garden, I have a renewed sense of God’s presence there,” said Andrea Hofing, a member of Third CRC and a self-professed novice gardener.

Dave Timmer, also from Third CRC, is passionate about his church’s garden project. This is the third season for Five Loaves Farm, which began on Third CRC’s property and has since expanded to include four other properties.

“We believe our church should be an active force for the seeking of shalom in our city,” he said. “Opportunities flourish when you have a bag of produce in your hands, and the gardens help us connect to the ‘least of these’ in our community.”

Attendees at the conference represented six churches from a number of denominations.

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