ABOUT STORIES OF FOOD AND FAITH
Across the country, whether in rural countryside or in busy urban centers, people are connecting their understanding of the Divine to the need for food. We see it in farm churches, communal kitchens, urban farms, and dinner gatherings. The deep hunger for meaning echoes the deep hunger for sustenance. This work crosses divisions of race, class, economics, and religion. More often than not, this work is being done away from bright lights and out of sight of most faith communities. We believe that these stories desperately need to be heard!
The Food and Faith Storytelling Collective is a group of practitioners, writers, clergy, and artists who believe that the Stories of Food and Faith that live in community gardens, church basements, and farms in out-of-the-way places can be the catalysts for healing in a broken world. We’re committed to using every medium at our disposal to share the tales of life, death, and renewal that are embedded in our faith traditions and present at our tables.
ABOUT DERRICK WESTON
Derrick Weston is the founder of Stories of Food and Faith, a non-profit multi-media collective for all who care about faith-based food justice.
A long-time believer in the power of storytelling, Derrick holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Divinity from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Before devoting himself full-time to the work of food and faith, Derrick spent his career serving churches and faith-based non-profits. Stories of Food and Faith is the culmination of Derrick’s education and experience as a producer, podcast host, writer, speaker, and community organizer.
Derrick began his love of gardening as a child alongside his grandfather. This love grew to a life-long exploration of how our hands in the dirt intimately connect us to the divine and each other. During this time with the Re: Generate Fellowship at Wake Forest University, he was challenged to see how his interests in gardening connected to the more significant issues of food justice in the world.
Derrick is a recipient of the Louisville Institute’s Pastoral Studies Grant, a regular columnist for Presbyterians Today Magazine, and his work with community gardens has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace.
Derrick lives outside of Baltimore with his wife, Shannon, and is the proud father of Maggie, Thomas, Gus, and Sophia. Derrick can be found on social media @derricklweston.
About Jason Chesnut
The Rev. Jason Chesnut, ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is a freelance filmmaker, itinerant pastor, and digital storyteller, working at the edges of institutional Christianity. His films are committed to a new kind of storytelling (ANKOSfilms.com), and his work extends into movements for justice and liberation. A native of Texas, Jason graduated from Texas Lutheran University and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His work has been published internationally, from articles written to podcasts produced to sermons preached, to mini-documentaries shot, directed, and edited.
Jason believes with Arundhati Roy that a new world is indeed possible, and has his head to the ground listening for her arrival. A lifelong learner, Jason taught himself to cook and bake and is currently building a safe haven for himself and those in need. Gardening, gratefully, has also become a habit. Jason lives with clinical depression and anxiety, as honestly and publicly as he can. You can find him on socials @crazypastor.
Jason lives as close as possible to mountains, and in an alternate timeline would be a wildlife photographer. Or maybe already is. He just hasn’t met him, yet.
About Anna Woofenden
Rev. Anna Woofenden (she/her/hers) is the author of This is God’s Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls, the founding pastor of the Garden Church and Feed and Be Fed Farm in San Pedro California, re-imagining church as an interconnected organism, worshiping, loving and serving together while transforming a plot of land into a vibrant urban farm and sanctuary.
At the end of 2017 Anna transitioned the Garden Church to new leadership and has served as the Interim Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsfield, and the Protestant Advisor at Amherst College, as well as consulting on outreach and new ministry opportunities, teaching, writing, speaking, and coaching across the country. She is now the Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Northampton, MA and is the founder and co-host of the Food and Faith Podcast.
Anna grew up in the San Juan Islands in Washington State, has lived around the country and traveled throughout the world, and is always glad to come back to the Pacific Ocean. Anna is now based in Northampton, MA with her husband David and their beloved daughter. She enjoys nature, gardening, art, children, writing, community, singing, laughter, and a good cup of chai. She is passionate about spirituality, justice, food, the earth, beauty, compassion, community, the dignity of all human beings and a calling to re-imagine church.