Church/Land Project

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Sat, 01/01/1994
End Date: 
Sun, 12/31/1995

The belief that the church has a responsibility to contribute to and safeguard the well being of their social community led the National Catholic Rural Life Conference’s Church/Land Project (furthermore “the Project”) to engage in raising theological consciousness concerning the impact of farmland use upon the rural community and the church. Not only church members, but also the church itself owns farmland, as its members give gifts and leave bequests. Therefore, church leaders need to be informed of the implications of farmland use, as well as encouraging the church to undertake education for and enter into dialogue with the greater community. <p>The Project acted to achieve this goal by producing the publication Passing on the Land: Farm and Ranch Estate Planning Options to Benefit You, Your Church, and Your Community as a resource for church members with property. One of the Project’s largest projects was a one-day conference on “Community, Church, and Large-Scale Hog Production.” This conference equipped those attending with resources to engage the issue of intensive hog farming with theological, ethical, and environmental means. Another major undertaking, the urban community gardening project, not only allowed community persons without access to land the opportunity to grow produce on land donated for that purpose, but also encouraged church members to purchase produce first from these producers before buying at a supermarket. In addition, the Project worked in conjunction with multiple religious communities to help them create their own land use policies.