Partner With Us
Support Us through Donation
For higher education institutions today, the challenges of establishing financial sustainability are formidable. The structure of the interrelationship between Sophia Farms and Sophia Theological Seminary intends to surmount these challenges. Sophia Farms was established solely to support Sophia Theological Seminary. And financial projections indicate that, after a start-up period of three to four years during which income from the farm will progressively increase, Sophia Farms will produce sufficient income to sustain the operations of the Seminary (as well as the Farms).
Thereafter, although occasional needs for modest capital (a new tractor, for example) will likely arise, Sophia will not move forward in the continual cycle of fundraising campaigns that are commonplace in too many institutions. Donations we receive once Sophia is self-sustaining can then be used, not to maintain Sophia’s daily operations, but to grow Sophia’s work – through creative programs and initiatives – for which we are definitely not short of big ideas and plans.
We do need and request your financial support during this start up period, as we require donations to assist with a portion of the Farms’ operating costs and for capital expenditures to renovate and build educational and housing facilities. Please consider how you might be able to aid us financially, and visit our Donate page. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to request further information.
Donors can have confidence that Sophia will adhere to its core value that farm operations will be concentrated on stewardship of God’s creation – stewardship of capital resources, natural resources, and people. We will prioritize sustainability and enter into partnerships that demonstrate our responsibility to the broader community.
The Share-a-Share Project
Through a partnership begun last year with Polly Jones-Mason and her ministry, MPACT, we are now able to offer you the opportunity to purchase a CSA half share ($350) or a full share ($470). Through MPACT, Mrs. Jones-Mason has assembled a volunteer team who prepare a weekly hot, delicious, nutritious meal for those in Richmond experiencing homelessness. Stated goals of MPACT are not only to alleviate hunger, but also to “strengthen and enrich the community life of the disadvantaged and homeless in Richmond, Virginia.”
The Share-a-Share project works in harmony with Sophia’s commitment to our core value of tithing of our produce. This tithe largely goes to the Colonial Heights Food Pantry. The tithe together with the Share-a-Share Project enables Sophia to partner in food justice work both locally to the farm in Dinwiddie County and locally to the majority of our CSA customers in the greater Richmond area.
Support Us as a Member of Sophia’s Pantry CSA
Sophia’s Pantry CSA program is a partnership model of agriculture through which Sophia Farms sells its produce and thus funds the mission and work of Sophia. Each growing season, members of Sophia’s Pantry pre-purchase “shares” in the Farms, and these prepayments finance the season’s operational costs. Then, as crops are harvested, we return these shares to Sophia’s Pantry members in the form of a weekly portion of the Farms’ produce. CSA shares are delivered to designated “drop” locations in the area where members come to pick up their produce. Click here for specific information on joining Sophia’s Pantry CSA.
Work Alongside Us in Partnership
Sophia Farms is committed to partnership as a way of being God’s people and doing God’s work in the world. The Seminary and the Farms seeks to partner with organizations, churches, groups, and individuals who share this commitment. We want to nurture creative and innovative partnerships, ones that seek to act side-by-side as agents of God’s love, grace, justice, and transformation.
We hope for and dream about the many ways in which these partnerships might take shape, and we look forward to opportunities to bring our hopes and dreams together with the hopes and dreams of others.
A significant partnership need we have now is for volunteers to lend their labor to the work of the farm and to renovation and construction projects we will undertake ahead of welcoming our first cohort of students. We welcome volunteers who are novices, professionals, and all levels of skill and experience in between. All that is required of you is enthusiasm…and a pair of good gloves. To become a volunteer or to receive more information on volunteering, please email your interest and questions to email@example.com.
Join Us in Prayer
A foundational principle for the Sophia community is purposefully observing the rhythms that mark our life together.
Rhythms of seasons: seasons of the calendar, of the land, of the church.
Rhythms of the day: work, study, play, eat, rest.
Rhythms that draw us together and rhythms that send us on our way:
time together and time apart;
time in solitude and time in solidarity;
time in fellowship and time in worship.
Prayer is to be the steady beat that sustains these rhythms and us as we move within them.
Prayer strengthens and guides us, individually and communally.
Prayer deepens our commitment to God and God’s work in creation.
We ask your support in joining your prayers to ours, as together we seek God’s extraordinary call in the ordinary rhythms of life.
O God, you have given us the gift of land. May we ever protect and preserve it.
O God, you have given us the gift of water. May we keep it pure and safe.
O God, you have given us the gift of air. May we keep it pure and fresh.
O God, you have given us the gift of plants and trees. May we ever use and protect them justly.
O God, you have given us the gift of birds and animals. May we preserve and enjoy them.
O God, you have given us care of the earth. O God, we accept the care of these gifts as our sacred stewardship.
– Adapted from a prayer by Melvin E. West in The United Methodist Book of Worship (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992), 430.