Event Detail


Food, Faith and Farming Panel Discussion
Wednesday, June 13
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

Hosted by Bishop Sisk, with Fred Kirschenmann, Norman Wirzba, and Kristin Kimball

Over the past years, there has been a growing movement to support locally grown products and sustainable food practices.   But what does this have to do with our faith?  Join us for a panel discussion as we explore topics including:  why what we eat matters for God’s Creation,  why locally grown, sustainable food is a  justice issue,  and how to appreciate eating as a spiritual discipline. 

Bishop Sisk will host the discussion with brief talks from Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer and President of Stone Barn Center in Westchester County;  Norman Wirzba, Professor of  Theology and Rural  Studies at Duke Divinity School and Kristin Kimball, upstate farmer, former NYC journalist and author of The Dirty Life.  A Question and Answer session will follow the panel discussion.   For further information please contact the Reverend Stephanie Johnson at    

About the panelists

 Fred Kirschenmann is  longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, he shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, Westchester, New York. He also continues to manage his family's 2,600-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota. He is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago.  In April 2010,  Kirschenmann's essays were published , Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, that trace the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years.

Kristin Kimball  grew up in central New York. She graduated from Harvard in 1994, then moved to New York City, where she worked at a literary agency, taught creative writing, and freelanced for magazines and travel guides. In 2002, Kristin interviewed a  farmer named Mark, and took more than a professional interest in both him and his vocation.  They founded Essex Farm together in 2004 – the world’s first full-diet Community Supported Agriculture and they’ve been professionally dirty ever since. Mark and Kristin  have two daughters, and Kristin has  three great jobs: mother, farmer, writer.


Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. In particular, he focuses on understanding and promoting practices that will equip both rural and urban church communities to be more faithful and responsible members of creation. Current projects focus on eating as a spiritual discipline, theological reflection as informed by place, and agrarianism as a viable and comprehensive cultural force.  Dr. Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. His most recent book is Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.

Contact: the Rev. Stephanie Johnson

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June 2012