Pilgrimage group with President and Mrs. Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church
On a lovely October weekend, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Pensacola Chapter, led 18 people on a pilgrimage to Koinonia Farm just outside Americus, Georgia. Koinonia is a Greek word meaning community and deep fellowship. The New Testament uses Koinonia 19 times, and it is a perfect name for this farm.
EPF decided on the Koinonia Farm for its pilgrimage destination because it began as a Biblically-based venture, made love and fellowship a fact of life, survived hate and violence without one act of violence in return, gave birth to Habitat for Humanity, and is going strong after 75 years. Koinonia was begun in 1942 by Clarence Jordan, a Baptist minister with a degree in agriculture and a doctorate in Greek. The farm was modeled on Acts 2 and modeled on absolute rejection of violence of any kind. The people of the farm faced disdain and hostility from their neighbors because they dared to work, eat, and live together as both black and white Americans.
The 18 pilgrims felt a sense of awe as they learned about the history of the farm and its role in the Civil Rights movements. They toured the farm, took a hayride, and ate wonderful food in community with those who live and work on the farm. They gathered for a presentation by the Rev. Deanna Vandiver from The Center for Ethical Living and Justice Renewal on the current state of race and racism in our culture today. Finally, they ended the day with a service celebration for justice and peace.
On Sunday morning, at Sunday school at the tiny Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, the pilgrims heard President Jimmy Carter tell of God’s universal love. They gathered after worship for their photo with President Carter on one side and Miss Rosalynn on the other. The whole group was overjoyed when President Carter shook the youngest pilgrim’s hand and gave it a kiss.
EPF highly recommends to all that when the chance arises, stop by Koinonia. Take a tour. Spend the night. Share a meal. Visit the gift shop and buy a copy of their documentary Briars in the Cottonpatch. You will not regret your time there.
People of Abraham, and people of all religions and no religion who stand in a mission of Peace, Justice, and Love, we bless you all.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship