The Church at Spring Forest is a new monastic, mission community in the United Methodist tradition. We are dedicated to loving and caring for the earth, animals, and our neighbors, especially those who are displaced by forced migration, and those who have been harmed by religion. We welcome and collaborate with people from other religions and no religion. Our community rule of life is: prayer, work, table, and neighbor. This set of spiritual practices guides our vision and our day-to-day life together. Our community is both gathered and virtual.
Spring Forest collaborates with many other churches and non-profits in order to carry out our mission.
Rev. Dr. Elaine A. Heath is Abbess of Spring Forest. Her vocational journey includes having served as Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University, and the McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology. Much of her research, writing, and teaching in the academy and the church at large, has focused on the new monastic, missional church movement. She is a pioneer in new forms of theological education. In that capacity, Heath served as founding President of Neighborhood Seminary. The author of numerous books, she is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and served in traditional pastoral ministry prior to her academic ministry.
You can find out more about her at: www.elaineaheath.org.
Contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Ministries Include
The Garden at Spring Forest
A regenerative farm that generates financial support for the ministries of the community through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The farm also produces thousands of pounds of vegetables for area food banks each year. We have a robust team of volunteers who help with planting, tending, harvesting, and distributing our wholesome, natural produce.
Contact: Heather Kouros, volunteer coordinator at email@example.com
Contact: Patti Jean Spinillo, CSA coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
A potluck dinner around the campfire (or indoors during inclement weather), followed by a simple worship experience led by different members of the community.
Forest Feast meets on the third Saturday each month, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, on the farm at 1907 New Sharon Church Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Friendship First Saturday
A multigenerational monthly social gathering with a pot luck dinner is held on the first Saturday of each month. In cooler weather, we often have a campfire. Come and enjoy the forest trail, the goats, the sunset, board games, and fun.
First Saturdays, 6-8 PM, on the farm at 1907 New Sharon Church Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278.
A monthly gathering to foster contemplative spirituality. Our group meets via Zoom on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. (If you would like to eat together via Zoom join us at 6 PM with your dinner.) To find out more about this group or to access the Zoom link:
An educational ministry that through webinars, immersion experiences, and reading groups guides participants into a deeper awareness of justice issues and advocacy for people who suffer from forced migration, and for indigenous people.
Contact: Lisa Bachman, email@example.com
A nutrition and wellness program for young families, Wednesdays 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Parents and preschoolers come to the farm for a multicultural experience of forest walks, learning about farm life, kiddie yoga, and a nutrition class and snack prepared by professional chefs with produce grown on the farm. Grow It is held on the farm at 1907 New Sharon Church Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278.
NOTE: Grow It is on a summer break during August and will resume September 6, 2022.
Check our Facebook Page weekly for information about "Grow It" should there need to be any postponement or cancellation due to inclement weather, etc.
Welcoming and companioning refugees in their resettlement is a central ministry of The Church at Spring Forest. In addition to sponsoring families through World Relief and Church World Service, we offer a robust ESL program in collaboration with several other area churches. Our classes are held Fridays from 10 AM - Noon, at Pleasant Green UMC. We also host hospitality events at the farm to welcome immigrant families and for social gatherings. Our Friendship Gardens are under development and will provide spaces on the farm for immigrant families to grow their own, familiar veggies from their homeland.
Our spiritual formation team offers a range of retreat options for individuals and small groups and curated small groups for spiritual formation.
Morning and Evening Prayer
Morning and evening prayer are held M-F, 8 am, and 8 pm, via Zoom. For more information or to request the link for prayer: