Hey there! My name is Micah Smalley and I’m from Burke, Virginia, about 20 minutes from Washington, DC. While North Carolina isn’t too far from home, I’ve been enjoying the time to explore a new place that I haven’t spent much time in before!
I live in the Carrboro house with four other lovely corps members. Some of my favorite things that we do together include watching movies (especially those that form a series), reading The Chronicles of Narnia as a house book club, and convincing them to play N64 games with me.
This year I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with Anathoth Community Garden & Farm in Cedar Grove, NC. Anathoth’s mission is to heal divisions between neighbors and the land by growing food together. There are many different ways that Anathoth works towards this mission, with one of the largest ways being a sliding-scale CSA program called HarvestShare. People pay what they can for a weekly box of vegetables, making the vegetables affordable to many. Additionally, every Saturday during the growing season there is a community workday at the garden, where we work together with those in the community to grow food together and pack vegetables into boxes for those involved in HarvestShare.
I get to be on the front lines of growing, fieldwork, harvesting, packaging, and communications. There are so many different things going on at the farm, and I’m lucky enough to get a wide-range of experiences while I’m there. As someone who feels called to work in a similar type of agricultural setting, I am always excited when I get to do something new at work, because I know that I am building on the knowledge that will help me to continue moving forward in my career.
In regards to my spiritual life, I’ve had many different denominational experiences over the past 23 years. This year I decided to again explore something new, and put myself in the position to be a minority in a worship setting. This choice led me to attend St. Joseph’s CME Church in Chapel Hill. The congregation is incredibly friendly and always welcoming, the music is powerful, and the sense of community encourages me weekly. My personal spiritual practices include listening to a podcast titled Pray as you Go in the mornings as I drive to work, reading different spiritual books before bed, praying as I fall asleep, worshiping through music, and listening to another podcast called The Liturgists. The books and podcasts I’ve been reading and listening to are continuously enabling me to question the ways I’ve thought about Christianity and God as a Being, allowing me to continue to shape my understanding of God and what it means to be a Christian.
My year with JSC so far has been full of so much joy, knowledge, and hard work, and I am so excited for what is to come.