Mid-Atlantic Agroecology Encounter: Reflections of an Elder

By Rev. Dele

Peace and Blessings Family!

Spirit recently revealed to me that those who are truly “spiritual and not religious” have no difficulty accepting those who are “spiritual and religious” because to be spiritual is to recognize oneness in the midst of diversity. It is to embrace our African ancestor’s belief that sacred cannot be separated from secular any more than breath can be separated from the body and still live. Intelligence of the head cannot supercede intelligence of the heart nor political power become more important than spiritual power. To do so is to continue the oppression of wisdom and women’ s ways of speaking and being. I am prayerful we will not repeat these oversights of our previous liberation movements.

The opening mystica of the Mid-Atlantic Agroecology Encounter offered a heart based exercise that simulated shifting social and environmental climates. Gathered around Harriet Tubman’s witness tree, we explored strategies to navigate these shifts when things fall apart. We acknowledged the fact that Mother Earth is rebirthing and that female rise to power around the globe reflects this movement. We connected to the spiritual expression that is indigenous to the land and Harriet Tubman. It set the tone for continued heart based intelligence that exploded in original songs and prophetic raps from our youth in powerful mysticas throughout the weekend.

As our numbers swelled from 40 to 80 and our ages spread from 3 to 70, our comfort in the land also expanded. The first night produced experts in pitching tents. Then joyful forest explorers emerged. And finally we moved our cars away from our tents to the parking lot. The release of this final “security blanket” sealed our natural environment and created expanded opportunities for exercise and reflection. Our ability to expand inner awareness is directly proportional to our ability to embrace the silence of trees and open grasslands unencumbered by human made equipment. Agroecology is a beautiful tool from South America that recreates cooperative communities that are economically empowered by their relationship to the land. I pray that we use our innate creativity to blend Ubuntu into the pedagogy so that our healing of Africans with the land can be complete. Much Love!!

-Rev Dele

Rev. Dele is a grandmother, theologian, visiting professor in permaculture, contemplative and social activist who uses her skills as a Climate Reality Leader and spiritual director to assist churches to model sustainability efforts in underserved communities. She serves as a grant making advisor for The Pollination Project, regional liaison for Green the Church, board member for Virginia Interfaith Power & Light and council member for the National Congress of Black American Indians. Through ​the​ Nature’s Friends network​, she works to train the next generation of mission leaders in faith, ecology and policy. Her ​​Soil & Souls LLC is seeking a core management team to collectively launch a wholesale nursery and regenerative design business based on land in Virginia. ​

​Rev's​ vision is for all human souls to redeem and nurture the earth’s soil for climate resilience​. www.revdele.com For speaking engagements contact : wearenaturesfriends@gmail.com (804) 389-5150