Germinating Conversations: Stories from a Sustained Rural-Urban Dialogue on Food, Faith, Farming, and the Land

illust. Matt Veith
Book, 2021, 248 pp
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Listening well and holding space for others in a world where we are increasingly defined by our differences is becoming ever more crucial.

Nearly a decade ago, the Germinating Conversations initiative began nurturing relationships between Manitoba food growers and eaters by paying close attention to the art of listening well. Through carefully designed gatherings, the initiative encouraged respectful story sharing and dialogue across a wide array of perspectives.

Germinating Conversations, the book, emerged from that initiative. With contributions from more than thirty participants, it explores our complex relationship to food, faith, farming, and the land and identifies a peacebuilding process beneficial to difficult conversations of all kinds.

Includes a study guide.

(4-12 sessions)

"Here is a sacred experiment that centres patient process and persistent listening. In reading this careful text, I’ve realized that I’ve got plenty to learn about food and farmers. But more importantly, I’ve discovered postures and practices, clothed in kindness, that offer 'ears to hear.'” - Steve Heinrichs, Director, Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Church Canada

"We need a book like this in every place where people are trying to be community even across profound differences. This book reveals the extent to which attitudes toward food and land lie at the heart of our political, economic, and even religious and spiritual differences. It takes honesty and generosity to engage in the kind of conversations that underlie this book. Those qualities are themselves the beginning of wisdom." - Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School

"In the current climate of polarized shouting matches ricocheting across the internet, Germinating Conversations is just what we need to find hope that there is a safe and productive way out of our echo chambers." - Musu Taylor-Lewis, Director, Resources and Public Engagement, Canadian Foodgrains Bank

"High on the growing list of things that keep me up at night is the increasing polarization within faith communities and the impact it is having on our children. Germinating Conversations also kept me up at night; I could not digest its hopeful guidance fast enough. May the Spirit gift us courage, curiosity, and commitment as we respond to this book’s invitation to set out on the road of dialogue. I’m holding hope that many congregations will engage this resource; it is a welcomed gift." - Kathy Geisbrecht, Associate Director, Leadership Ministries, Mennonite Church Manitoba

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