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The Growing Church

posted Jun 25, 2013, 2:10 PM by Jamie Washam

"Look well to the growing edge. All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge. It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men and women have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash. Such is the growing edge incarnate. Look well to the growing edge!"

Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman


In 1956, theologian and pastor Howard Thurman penned the above words to describe the subtle and transformative work of the human heart, comparing its breakdown and growth to the fecund conversions of the earth. Here at Underwood Church we are experiencing growth, both figuratively and very literally. If you’ve not had the opportunity to check out our new raised vegetable beds, stop by the northwest corner of the property to see them. Feel free to sign up for a week to tend and harvest them.

The inner work of growth is often less immediately perceptible, rooting deeply down in the underground recesses of our hearts, emerging as fragile shoots.  However, when conditions are right, growth can be startling and rapid. Look away for a time, and when you return, what had been tentative and tender becomes prolific and lush, laden with fruit and bloom.

What are you tending, with your hands, with your heart? What is emerging within and around you? Is something about to break forth and bear fruit? What have you needed to prune or uproot in order to make room for what is to come?

I love the new edible gardens, and can’t wait to give directions to our church as the place that is growing. In the past, we’ve had difficulty differentiating ourselves from the many other churches on the street. Now, we will be able to say with confidence that this is the place where, if you are hungry, you can come and be fed, in both body and soul. Come, and be a part of the growing church.