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Vineyard Stewards and Orchard Stewards 2024
Agrarian Faith Formation

Deepen your encounter with both Creation and Scripture in the company of other people of faith and in relationship with the vineyards and orchards at Good Courage Farm


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”
The Gospel according to John 15:5


“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.” - Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Vineyard Stewards and Orchard Stewards small group ministry program is a seasons-long relationship with one another, with Hebrew scripture, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and most notably, with a row or two of cold-hardy grapevines or heirloom apple trees at Good Courage Farm. Our goals are to experience reciprocity with Creation, deepen our understanding of vineyard metaphor and imagery in Jesus' teaching and in our lives, and end the season with bottles of Eucharistic wine or homemade pies for sharing in our parishes or congregations.

  • Field days are one Saturday per month, March - October (It's okay if you can't make every month...)

  • All tools are provided.

  • Participants bring a bag lunch.

  • Groups are welcome to sign up together. Individuals are welcome, too!

Church groups of Farm Stewards organize their own carpools and internal communication. Register for our 2024 Farm Stewards small group ministry, which runs March through September, by February 14. 

Want to learn more? Read on below for details...

More about Vineyard/Orchard Stewards

What is the Farm Stewards about?
What is "agrarian faith formation"?

This unique, immersive ministry invites you to learn by doing and to reconnect your faith practices to Creation. On each "field trip" to the farm, we'll work, reflect, pray, feast and share.


Whether you join the Vineyard or the Orchard cohort, you will enter into a seasons-long relationship with the fruit-bearing living things at Good Courage Farm in Hutchinson. In parallel with facilitated reflection on Jesus’ parables and feeding ministry, and on the psalms and stories of the Hebrew Scriptures, Stewards will learn about the art and science of tending fruit crops in the upper Midwest.


 All participants will share the actual fruits of our labors. Some of our yield will be donated to food ministry partners. Vineyard Stewards will take a share of wine to be blessed and shared in the Sacrament of Holy Community in their parish or congregation. Orchard Stewards will take pie and sweet cider to their communities.


This way of working, learning, and praying doesn't only yield edible fruits, it produces spiritual transformation, as well. Cohort members form meaningful friendships with one another, with the farmers, and with the earth which yields the fruit.  All tools and equipment will be provided. Expect prayerful, joyful, hard work and satisfying results.

What does a "field day" look like?

  • 9:00 a.m. Gather in the barn for biscuits, jam, tea and coffee. Reflect on connected scripture texts through the practices of lectio divina and natura divina

  • 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Work in the field

  • 12:00 noon. Eucharist in the barn (open to all)

  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch (bring your own sack lunch)

  • 1:00 p.m. Finish field work, clean up tools.

  • 2:30 p.m. Closing circle in the Silo

  • 3:00 p.m. Head home with a blessing!

Is this program family-friendly?

Farming has always been multigenerational work. That said, our experience has been that Farm Stewards cohorts are best suited to people ages 12 and up. It may be possible to tailor a cohort especially to families with youth - get in touch with us to talk more. The farm will be happy to collaborate with participants who have younger children in their families so that on-farm childcare can be arranged.

Who is this for? Will I find it meaningful?

While no prior experience is necessary, Farm Stewardship is a great opportunity for members of faith communities who already have a Creation Care group or a Good News Garden.

The work of tending vines and trees is physically demanding; while the vineyards and orchards are not easily accessible to individuals with mobility needs, we do all we can to include everyone in the experience. Reach out to us to talk more about how to get involved, especially if you're wondering how that might look, physically and practically.


Some churches like to form a group of Farm Stewards so that participants can connect in between field days. This is also a great way to form carpools.

Not connected to a faith community? No worries. Good Courage can become your faith community for a season! We'll connect you to others through the work, study and fellowship.

What's the time commitment?

Stewards come to Good Courage Farm once a month from March through October. Each Saturday immersion on the farm will be about 6 hours long (with the exception of harvest and wine pressing, which is a full day), including prayer, learning, work, lunch and worship.  The farm is roughly a 60- to 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities metro area. So, in all, the commitment is about 60-80 hours across the year, depending on travel time.

  • Orchard Stewards' field days are FIRST SATURDAYS of each month.

  • Vineyard Stewards' field days are SECOND SATURDAYS of each month. 

It’s not necessary that every participant be able to make every date. Of course, we hope the whole group can be on the farm for harvest in August and September!

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