Pastor Gary Dittman
Nature often has uncanny healing and restorative powers. As a pastor, Gary Dittman combines his spiritual work with nature’s innate therapeutic abilities to create a peaceful, transcendent environment for all in his community.
A Firesoul of nine years, part of Gary’s role is to maintain the Sacred Commons at the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD. The church serves as a multicultural inclusive urban Lutheran congregation in East Baltimore. As part of his work as its pastor, Gary is a steward of the Sacred Commons, which is an outdoor space with community gardens, gardening education and activities, youth art, a perennial nursery and a permanent outdoor labyrinth.
“We have outdoor festivals, gatherings, worship, community labyrinth walks, Garden worship on Easter. It is beautiful and wonderful to grow vegetables in the gardens we can use for snacks after school, or in the soup kitchen.”
Gary’s work is energized by meeting his neighbors and strengthening the community around him. He finds the Sacred Commons “healing,” and it draws the community together. According to Gary, witnessing the environment’s natural processes at work, whether it’s the plants growing or the worms squirming in the dirt, boosts his spirituality. With Gary’s leadership both in the pews and in the gardens, the Sacred Commons is a tranquil place for all.
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.