There is a Season, Turn, Turn, Turn…

The season is turning again. You can feel it in the air, and you can see it in the leaves. You can feel it in the chill each morning and in every evening when the sun goes down just a little sooner each night.

Turn, turn, turn. The season is turning, not only with the weather, but for me as well. I have spent the past season living and working on the family plot on Roper Rd. just north of Cumming, GA. The farm house has seen a lot of changes in just the past couple of weeks, not to mention the last three months. This is only a part of the reason I haven’t updated the blog in so long; I’ve had my days full and in the evenings I have been loathe to spend the hour or more up at the Kroger at Greens Corners that it takes to come up with something to type about and then actually type it.

But tomorrow: turn, turn, turn; there is a season, turn, turn, turn; and a time for every purpose under heaven.

In the morning I’ll be driving down through Americus to the Koinonia Partners farm, where folks of all stripes have been farming and discussing the Kingdom of God together for well-nigh 70 years. I’ll be spending this next season on “that hippie commune” (as some have lovingly called it) helping in the farm chores, discussing christian discipleship, and learning just about everything there is to know about pecans (correctly pronounced PEE-cans, as I’ve been told).

For those readers of mine who don’t know, the Koinonia Partners farm has been in THE premiere mail-order pecan farming outfit coming out of Americus, GA, ever since some time in the 50’s, when they essentially invented this market, by necessity, after the local community banded together to boycott their unseemly regard for the equal treatment of African Americans. See, Koinonia was founded as a “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God,” and what that meant to its founders (and to its inhabitants today, for that matter) was treating people as people, with equal dignity  as children of God, and without regard for the color of their skin. Well, in rural south Georgia, under the genteel southern sensibilities of Jim Crow segregation, treating niggers like people just wasn’t something that most folks were ready and willing to do. You must understand.

So they organized this here boycott. Nobody in Americus was to buy, sell, or trade with the Koinonia Partners, so long as they persisted in their backwards, communist, integrationist agenda. It was for the good of the wider community, after all. Well, the folks at Koinonia weren’t about to compromise in their historically victorious–though contemporarily controversial–interpretation of the Good News that God revealed through Jesus Christ. They decided that the only solution to this impasse was to “ship the nuts out of Georgia.” So that’s just what they did. They started a mail-order business, reaching across the nation, that has thrived ever since. Times do seem to change however, as just a year or so ago, the Koinonia farm was recognized as a business pioneer by the Americus Chamber of Commerce, the very same body which organized the afore-mentioned boycott some 60 years prior. Indeed: turn, turn, turn.

Koinonia also happens to be the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, believe it or not. Habitat’s founder, Millard Fuller, lived at Koininia with his wife, Linda, and kids for a few years in the 60’s, leaving behind a lucrative but hollow career as a lawyer to live in christian community and work together with two of Koinonia’s founders, Clarence and Florence Jordan. During this time, Millard and Clarence saw the poverty in Sumter County and realized that they and their fellow Koinonians could serve God in their neighbors by building them better housing with the resources they had available to them. It was from these humble beginnings that Millard was eventually sent out from Koinonia to establish the international mission that has helped so many millions into the present day. So no, Jimmy Carter didn’t found Habitat for Humanity. Common misconception. He is much more famous than Millard, and he’s from the same area. Plains, GA is only about 7 miles from Americus. But Jimmy only started volunteering with and advocating for Habitat after his presidency. Habitat had been around a few years already by that time.

Anyway, for the next three months or so, I’ll be focusing my blogging efforts toward the daily/weekly goings on at the Koinonia farm, and on the personal, spiritual, and agricultural lessons I’ll be learning while I’m there. I hope you’ll check back here with some frequency. I’ll try to be good about posting at least one blog a week, maybe more if I’m able.

Should you wish to learn more about the Koinonia Partners farm and what they are currently doing, or if you feel like visiting, you can go to their website, at www.koinoniapartners.org. It’s definitely worth the trip, though you’ll need to give them a couple weeks’ notice, so that they can arrange the proper hospitality for someone like you.

And of course, you are more than welcome to send me a care package. Just mail it to:

Mitch Roper
c/o Koinonia Partners
1324 GA Hwy 49 S.
Americus, GA  31719

Disclaimer: by no means whatsoever should you feel obligated to do so. Anything I get will be a complete surprise and will be greatly appreciated. Mainly I just wanted to make sure that anyone needing to reach me has my new address. But if you do feel like sending me something, far be it for me to deter you from doing so.

Lastly–you know I couldn’t leave this out–you can watch an early performance of The Byrds’ hit song, from which the title of this post was derived, below.

So, until next time, may the peace of Christ (and a little discomfort) be with you!

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2 Responses to “There is a Season, Turn, Turn, Turn…”

  1. dan Says:

    Hey, i’m prayin for ya. The lyrics to this song sounds like Ecclesiastes

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