Mural in Bent Pine Garden at Pt Adelaide Uniting Church

Port Adelaide Uniting Church.

The Bent Pine is a metaphor for ‘who we are’ as people in relation to the gospel. That is, we are all pressured – at times bended – by life. We carry our scars, flaws and deformities with us.

At PAUC we believe that our role as a gospel community is not to straighten people ‘up’ or ‘out’. Instead it is to welcome them, as we have been welcomed by Jesus, with the news that we are accepted, whatever our ‘shape’ or ‘condition’ and life experiences, and that, together in community, there is still a place for us; a place where we can even dare to flourish with others. The Bent Pine therefore expresses at least part of our theological identity and mission.

The Bent Pine is also a ‘third space’ where people are welcome to retreat from the noise and stress of other situations, enjoy beauty and relative peace in the surrounds of a flourishing garden and trees, receive friendship and garden produce, while feeling free and encouraged to offer their own gifts and skills.

The Bent Pine is, from another perspective, a symbol of the “the natural world under pressure”. The Bent Pine community garden therefore provides a locus of action by the community to promote ‘green-ness’ in small, urban spaces; to grow and teach the growing of healthy organic food for those who can least afford it; and to help us question how we deal with waste. We make use of local resources (e.g. plane tree leaves, garden material, organic waste from partners such as Red Lime Café) to recycle and compost.

The Bent Pine is both a metaphor to encourage us and a symbol that asks questions of us.