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December 27, 2009

Gardeners find healers—literal or spiritual—heroic. Gardeners find their inspiring hero role models in the biblical stories about wholeness and spiritual growth or progress. Gardeners admire, and seek to emulate Adam tending the Garden of Eden, Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land (a new Garden), the prophets working to renew the nation to its creative purposes, Jesus healing wounds and reconciling people with God and each other, and Paul establishing churches.

Gardeners idolize healers and view atonement not as a process of penance, but as “at-one-ment”—the process of reconciliation, of merging split parts back together. For Gardeners, the seven sacraments of the church are acts of at-one-ment with God or each other—baptism (a ritual of dispensing of a past life, and giving birth to a new spiritual life within the Spirit of God), the Eucharist (a ritual of infusing one’s physical body with the Spirit of the divine), confirmation (affirmation of one’s belief in God), ordination (commission of clergy), confession of sins, anointing (healing) the sick, and matrimony (uniting two separate people into the one-ness of marriage).

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