Micah Mandate

The Magazine of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Nazarene General Superintendent speaks in chapel

Posted by admin November - 2 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS
Dr. Gustavo Crocker visited campus on Thursday, October 29.

Dr. Gustavo Crocker visited campus on Thursday, October 29.

By Christy Ulmet

Students who want to make a change in the world must have a sense of urgency and be discontented with the status quo, said Gustavo Crocker, General Superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene.
“We have to be willing to do things that are currently unacceptable to the world, but are acceptable to Jesus,” Crocker said. “We need to be able to ask ourselves, ‘What is not right?’ At times we will have to speak for the voiceless—that’s not popular. At times we will have to challenge the status quo—that’s not popular, but Jesus will honor that.”

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Urban Farm amps up conservation efforts with living roof

Posted by admin October - 26 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS
The living roof above the chicken coop offers insulation and food for the animals.

The living roof above the chicken coop offers insulation and food for the animals.

By Christy Ulmet

Strawberries, mint, rye, clover and tomatoes are growing on top of the chicken coop on campus as one of the Urban Farm’s latest projects.

The living roof was planted in June of 2015 to both provide insulation to the coop and another place to grow fruits and vegetables.

The Trevecca Urban Farm, which includes 1.5 acres of gardens with an estimated 100 different species of plants, around 65 animals, beehives, chick coops and an aquaponics system, is an on-campus farm operated by the Center for Social Justice as a learning lab for the Center’s environmental justice program.

Every time humans build new buildings or parking garages, good soil is being covered up. Living roofs are one way that people are able to enjoy new buildings, as well as still have space to grow vegetation. The buildings help raise the growing areas closer to the sky, said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator and farm operator.

They also help prevent flooding in urbanized areas because the rainwater can be soaked up by the soil, rather than treated as runoff into streams and rivers. The evaporation of the rainwater is what helps cool the buildings. Living roofs also help prolong the life of the roof, because they prevent UV rays from degrading the quality of the roofing.

Living roofs, also green roofs and heat islands, have become more popular in the United States since the market collapse because of their ability to cut heating and cooling costs, according to a report released by the Environmental Protection Agency. One of the more popular local projects with a green roof is on top of the new Nashville Music City Center a few blocks down the road from Trevecca.

Adkins chose what’s called the “Carpet Sandwich” approach for the living roof. One of the largest sources of landfills is used carpet. This is one way that the carpet can be reused, he said.

A piece of carpet is placed on top of the roof decking, followed by pond lining to help prevent flooding, and then another piece of carpet, which keeps branches or roots from destroying the lining from the top side down. Six inches of soil, used for growing vegetation, is added to the top layer. The soil on this living roof came from the compost sifted from the yard around it.
The project cost about $200, because the only new supplies needed were the pond liner and some screws; everything else came from recycled or composted material. And the roof is capable of paying for itself, Adkins said.

“We’re building a farm to teach and inspire people to take care of the earth, and grow good food and take care of one another. Its value really consists in how people take what they learn and put it into practice,” he said.

The living roof is one of the steps the Urban Farm has taken towards conservation. Adkins has overseen other sustainability projects on campus including: an aquaponics system to help water plants while providing a place for tilapia to live and a compost pile made up of scraps from the cafeteria and the farm.

Adkins said that this project was mainly meant to be an addition to the learning lab aspect of the farm. In the future, he noted that he’d love to see more living roofs being used around campus to provide additional insulation and growing space.

Urban Farm goes off the grid with new solar panels

Posted by admin October - 1 - 2015 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS
solar panel 2
By Christy Ulmet
Two large black panels hang above the door on the south side of the barn at the Urban Farm. With just these two panels, the farm is able to sustain its own electricity.
In an effort to be energy independent, the Urban Farm hung the two 100-watt solar panels to power outlets and lights in the recently built barn facility.
The project, which was spearheaded by Chris Farrell, professor of biology and the environment, was funded entirely by grants.
“Projects like these demonstrate that we’re energy independent. We don’t have to even have wires for this. We’re powered by nature,” Farrell said.

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La Fille Mal Gardee Large 121

By Bailey Basham

Nearly 100 ballerinas will be on Trevecca’s campus this weekend.

The J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice will host “The Art of Justice: Using Creativity to Change the World,” a weekend-long celebration to highlight youth organizations in Nashville who use art to do social justice in youth communities.

The keynote event will be the Rejoice School of Ballet spring recital.

Among the other youth art organizations are Courage UnmaskedHarvest Hands Humphrey Street Coffee Company, local artists and a local community theatre company. These organizations will have booths set up to give out information about their organizations.

“I see many individuals who use different forms of the arts, whether it’s therapeutic writing, painting, or ballet. People use creativity to address social issues,” said Iris Gordon, Nashville business management consultant and adjunct professor in the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice. “I don’t think many people think about the power of creativity, so the goal of the event is to put that on display, heighten the awareness of what is being accomplished, and spark new ideas and interests in how people can utilize their creativity to also address or manage social issues.”

Rejoice School of Ballet is a non-profit dance school in East Nashville. The school, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, serves nearly 100 dancers a year from diverse backgrounds. All students pay incomer-based fees for training, dance wear, and costumes.La Fille Mal Gardee Large 134

The goal of Rejoice is to serve dancers from diverse backgrounds by hiring professional faculty to teach students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to quality ballet training, said Patricia Cross, executive director of Rejoice.

Rejoice is a client of The Neighborhood Empowerment Program, which is an initiative of the Center for Social Justice that seeks to equip and empower local nonprofits to maximize their work in serving our neighbors, said Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center of Social Justice.

Gordon has been working with Rejoice for about a year through the NEP. She consults with the board of directors, sets up committees and counsels Cross on business methods and efficiency.

“I have seen real impact on how businesses can address social injustices that exist in our world and have a positive effect just in restoring people to wholeness- both in individuals and the community and at large,” said Gordon.

She has energized the board members to do great work to support and promote Rejoice, said Cross.

“Trevecca sends Iris out in the community to walk alongside nonprofits who otherwise couldn’t afford that sort of help, and to have someone with her expertise and knowledge is an amazing gift,” said Cross. “Iris has brought in other local ministries that are using art to promote social justice, so we feel the event is going to be a great way to open people’s eyes to the importance of the arts and promoting social justice in the community.”

The event is open to all Trevecca students, faculty and staff, and neighboring community members.

“It would really serve as a positive exposure on how different arts are being used to empower and address social injustice and could broaden a student’s perspective on what they might be able to do to use their creativity to help address social issues as well,” said Gordon.

“The Art of Justice” will be on May 2 at 6:30 p.m. and on May 3 at 3 p.m. in Boone Business Building. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased here.

Trevecca’s Urban Farm Barn Dance a success

Posted by admin April - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

By Griffin Dunn

More than 100 people attended the first annual Trevecca Urban Farm Barn Dance this weekend.

The dance was the first fundraiser held in the new barn on campus. The $5 entry fee was used to raise funds for future farm projects, said Jason Adkins, farm manager.

This video was originally posted on the website for the TrevEchoes, the student-run newspaper of Trevecca Nazarene University.

Alumni practices his faith at Trevecca Urban Farm

Posted by admin April - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS
Carlson Grae holding Rosa, one of Trevecca’s baby goats.

Carlson Grae holding Rosa, one of Trevecca’s baby goats.

By Montgomery Sparrow

Carlson Grae is finding the Trevecca Urban Farm to be a great place to practice his faith while he’s earning his master’s degree in religion.

Grae, the part-time farm hand, joined the staff last fall.

He provides assistance to Jason Adkins, Trevecca’s environmental projects coordinator, with general activity on Trevecca’s Urban Farm and who also is a creative force to create programs to enlist more volunteers.

“I don’t know how I would run the farm without him. He is a creative thinker, a heavy lifter, and a hard worker.” Adkins said. “To be a farmer, you have to be a total person, and Carlson is one of those total people that you hope to come along.” Read the rest of this entry »

Trevecca Urban Farm sells

Posted by admin April - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

By Montgomery Sparrow

Local hand-made farm products are becoming increasingly available from the Trevecca Urban Farm.

The farm, mostly used as a lab for teaching environmental justice and farming practices, is making and selling more products thanks to a new part-time farmhand. Read the rest of this entry »

Students work to aid in global water crisis

Posted by admin April - 16 - 2015 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

By Christy Ulmet

Last fall, five Trevecca students were given the task of creating a clean water project idea. The team, led by Stephens Hiland, senior communication studies major, prepared a model for a fundraiser, which will support Nazarene Compassionate Ministries’ Global Clean Water Fund.

Every Nazarene university and college was able to submit an entry for the project, but Trevecca’s group ended up winning, which gave them the funding needed for the school’s idea, which they titled “Drop by Drop.” Read the rest of this entry »

Trevecca’s Urban Farm needs volunteers

Posted by admin March - 19 - 2015 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

By Montgomery P. Sparrow

Trevecca students, regardless of major, can volunteer on the Urban Farm.
The Trevecca Urban Farm, which includes gardens, animals, fruit trees and aquaponics, is in need of a few good volunteers. This month the farm is starting a new program called Meet and Greet. Every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. students can feed goats and chickens and pigs by hand and help socialize the animals.


There are also other volunteer opportunities and jobs available to interested students. Read the rest of this entry »

Trevecca president book on sexuality due out this month

Posted by admin March - 19 - 2015 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

By Bailey Basham

Trevecca President Dan Boone wants the church to not be afraid to talk to about human sexuality, and his latest book is an effort to help the conversation.

Human Sexuality: A Primer for Christians, will hit the stands next month.

“I do not believe the current discussion about human sexuality will result in a unified church. I also think the categories of liberal and conservative are not capable of defining where the church might come to rest,” said Boone in the preface of his book. “For that reason, I have tried to write a brief theology of human sexuality in the language of the pew… I believe the discussion of human sexuality needs a fresh start. If we are to be the bearers of good news to a broken world, we must recover a biblical theology of the human body and of our human sexuality.”
In the book, Boone references a model devised by Mark Yarhouse, an author and professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia.
“Mark Yarhouse uses a model that allows us to treat sexual minorities [identities other than heterosexual and homosexual] as individuals with personal stories,” said Boone in chapter 7 of his book. “His approach seeks to hear the journey of a person based on milestone events along the way.”
Boone said he felt called to write on this subject because of the fact that so many people in the church struggle with gender identity and sexuality issues.
He hopes an initiation of the conversation will benefit members of the Church of the Nazarene.
“I think the church is afraid of the topic, and so until some respected leaders in the church begin to demonstrate that we have nothing to be afraid of in entering this topic, I think a lot of churches just won’t,” said Boone. “What will happen is that people will disagree, and in the process of people disagreeing sometimes, we think we have to stop the conversation. It’s okay that not everybody agrees with one another. Peter and Paul didn’t even agree with one another in scripture, so it’s not like disagreement is the most horrible thing in the world.”
In addition to writing his book, Boone also recently spoke at Mission 2015, a Nazarene youth conference in Kansas City, where he and other pastors addressed the issue of homosexuality in the church.
Boone’s book includes two chapters on homosexuality and also touches on pornography, celibacy, marriage, raising children, the church’s public conversation on marriage rights, and on dating culture in today’s society.
The book is currently undergoing the final stages of the editing process and is slated to be released within the next month.  Students and faculty interested in reading the book will be able to find it both in the campus bookstore and in Waggoner Library.
This post first appeared on TrevEchoes Online.