When I was in town interviewing for the job at Trinity seven years ago, I walked around downtown Stillwater and stumbled upon River Market Community Co-op. I walked in the doors and immediately felt at home. I love food, and I find co-ops to be places of sanctuary where all seems good and right with the world and I can be at peace. That day I vowed that if I got the job, joining River Market would be one of the first things I would do when I moved to town.
I got the job, and I did become a member at the local co-op. Because I am a pastor and the church is also my place of work, I need another sacred place outside the walls of Trinity. During the almost seven years that I have lived in Stillwater, the co-op has been my sanctuary. I go there on lunch breaks to get a sandwich and some fruit. Depending on the day, I go after work, before work or in the evenings. I go when I need some more fruit or just want to be in a friendly and healthy environment.
I enjoy walking in and being greeted by name. I am grateful for the produce manager, who shares my values and stocks fruits and vegetables that are good for the earth, good for people, and good for her own young son. I delight in taking my cart and slowly meandering around the store to see what beautiful food is waiting for me to eat. I find comfort knowing my food dollars are going to support such a wonderful business.
On sabbatical I am not worshipping at Trinity, but I am still making regular visits to River Market. Today, I stopped by after my morning walk to pick up some more milk, and I found some ripe, organic peaches just waiting for me to buy them. I bought four and brought them home to eat. Immediately, I opened the bag, washed one and bit in. The sweetness was delightful on my tongue, and the juice dripped down my hand and arm. It was an almost perfect peach, so of course I had to eat another one!