Join us for this special event with Contemplate Lincoln Board Member Marvin Anderson on the majestic grounds of Pioneers Park. Learn about the land we inhabit here in the prairie plains of Nebraska as we connect our spiritual roots to the land through history, mindfulness, conversation, and experiencing the beauty of the prairie. The event will take place inside the Pioneers Park Nature Center. Scholarships available.

Where: Pioneers Park Nature Center

When: Saturday March 18th 1:30-4:30pm

Registration: $25. All proceeds support the ministry and mission of Contemplate Lincoln and The Contemplative Cathedral

See the event and a column from Marvin in our latest Newsletter

Presenter Marvin Lee Anderson PhD and Adam Luedtke PhD Talking about the event Part. 1

Part 2

More about Marvin:

Marvin Lee Anderson, Ph.D. is an international consultant on rural congregational ministry and rural communities. Since 1989, Dr. Anderson has taught Master of Divinity courses on rural ministry in more than a dozen theological colleges and seminaries in Canada and the U.S., including courses on “Theology of the Land” and “Managing Church Conflict.” This has included serving on an interim basis as a part-time lay minister over a span of twenty years in small membership congregations in Toronto as well as serving eight United Church of Canada congregations in rural Ontario.

Dr. Anderson held the Endowed Chair of Town and Country Ministries at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, a United Methodist seminary from 2002-2005. Marvin was in charge of the national portfolio on Rural Ministries for The United Church of Canada in Toronto (2006-2007), focusing on Congregational Renewal and Community Development, where he wrote the following online resource, Alive and Kicking: Revitalizing Rural Ministries, which is free to download at:

A verbatim endorsement by a Professor Emeritus from Saint Paul’s faculty has said of Alive and Kicking: “It is one of the best things I have read on the rural church.” Quoting Dr. Anderson in his own words: “Throughout my professional and academic career, I have researched, consulted, written and taught about the tragic demise of the small family farm, rural communities and small rural churches across North America, which I have personally witnessed and experienced firsthand. It’s broken my heart and stretched it at the same time.”

This conviction led Marvin to design and teach a new graduate course in Grand Junction, Colorado, in the fall of 2019 entitled Restoring Community in a Divided Countryside: Anger and Healing in America’s Heartland. Speaking of heart, this course focused on how the increasing cultural and political polarization in America’s Heartland threatens to undermine one of the traditional core values among rural communities: the capacity and willingness of people in local communities to work and live together as good neighbors, who look out for each other instead of harboring suspicion of each other.

Dr. Anderson is also a historical theologian whose research spans the history of late medieval and early modern (Reformation) Christian mysticism. He has been a Fellow for the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies at the University of Toronto since 2010. Marvin has also taught at the Department of History at the University of Toronto and lectured for the School of the Environment at U. of T. this past fall.

While continuing to live in Toronto with his family, Dr. Anderson is a Sessional Instructor at the Atlantic School of Theology. His online summer course at AST (2021) focused on studying the writings of late medieval Christian women mystics: Mysticism and Monasticism in Context: Love, Longing, and Belonging.

A native of Phelps County in Nebraska, Marvin proudly honors and draws inspiration from his rural and agrarian roots descending from a long ancestral lineage of Swedish and Quaker farmers. The sum of Dr. Anderson’s academic and public writing, speaking and teaching celebrates the resilience and resourcefulness that have historically characterized rural people and communities. In the spirit of the agrarian tradition (Wendell Berry), Marvin knows firsthand how both of those traits have animated the imagination and creativity of rural communities despite the relentless obstacles they have always faced.

Additional Resources:

  • Marvin’s web site is at:
  • His specific historical and theological expertise on “Theology of the Land” is found at:
  • The specific inspiration for this workshop for Contemplate Lincoln comes from the spiritual reflection Marvin was invited to offer, entitled “For Land’s Sake” in the “The Land is Us” section (Session Three) of the online version, Listening to Indigenous Voices: A Dialogue Guide on Justice and Right Relationships:
  • This excellent Canadian resource is found at: It is produced by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto. The Jesuit Forum has been working with an advisory group and editorial team made up of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members, in collaboration with KAIROS, a Canadian church coalition, in order to produce an educational resource aimed at adults and high school students. Printed copies of the resource will be available at the workshop.
  • Fyi, you can view Marvin’s youtube in promoting his course, “Growing Down: Re-storying Our Roots in the World,” for the summer program of Ruach Ha’Aretz affiliated with Yerusha and the Jewish Renewal movement (2019):

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