We engage the community through learning cohorts, projects, and events
Scroll down to see current offerings. We hope you join us!
You are invited to dinner! Registration is open for May’s Oddkin Unite! gathering on Friday May 12. Ghanaian food is on the menu and we will be encountering art by local creatives Dawn Anthony and Helms Jarrell around the theme “from chained to rooted.”
What is the difference between being trapped somewhere and being rooted? What is the relationship between freedom and being established and imbedded? We will dance with these questions and enjoy each other’s presence as well as delicious food. We hope you can join us! Click on the image to register.
Oddkin Unite! is a festive kinship initiative that intends to leverage the power of gathering unlikely people (‘Oddkin’) to share original art, food, and guided discussion. “Oddkin” is a term coined by professor Donna Haraway who writes: “Staying with the trouble requires making oddkin; that is, we need each other in unexpected collaborations and combinations, in hot compost piles.” We need new practices and spaces that allow for new ways or being together across barriers that lean toward mutual care, belonging, and solidarity.
At Kinship Plot we believe one of the best places for this is around the table, a place of mutuality which beckons us to be moved by each other’s story and presence.
We live in a time when we are increasingly disconnected from each other and the land, and our physical, relational, and spiritual health suffers as a result. What would it look like to reconnect and experience kinship with each other and the land? Influenced by the deep time of geology, our cultural landscape has been sculpted through a mélange of terranes both allochthonous (originating at a distance from the present location) and autochthonous (indigenous to a place). As such, we are called to embrace the constant reworking of the old to create what is new. What practices are crucial for maintaining resonant relationships and experiencing joy and wellbeing? Join us for this unique kinship collaborative as we learn and explore possibilities together!
Nestled on the western flank of the Ozarks, Waterfall Hollow Ranch is an ideal setting for exploring questions of kinship and experiencing a guided forest walk, cultivation activities, leisure time, and communal meals. This Kinship Collaborative on June 24 will be facilitated by Wes and Stephanie Vander Lugt, co-founders of Kinship Plot, and hosted by Joel and Sarah Donohue, geologists and nature enthusiasts. Lunch, dinner, beverages, and snacks are provided, and you can read more about the schedule, facilitators, and FAQs below. Space is limited, so we recommend reserving your spot early. Click on the link below to learn
Past Cohorts, Projects, and Events
Reparations: A Teach-In and Community Conversation
"Reparations" for historic racial harm in the U.S. evokes a range of responses that are often divisive and bewildering. Instead of avoiding this important topic, we are leaning in and staying with the trouble. We gathered with the Dismantling Divide group for some teaching and conversation with other Christians about how to think about reparations in a biblical and Spirit-led way that lead to practical action.
Descendant: Public Screen and Discussion
"Descendant" tells the story of the survivors from the Clotilda, the last ship that carried enslaved Africans to the U.S. As the descendants of the survivors rebuild this tangible link to their ancestors, they are able to celebrate their heritage and take command of their legacy. We gathered to let their story enliven us to encounter the lines of our own heritage and history, the wounded parts included, as a pathway toward healing and justice.
Entangled Existence Cohort
This five-month learning cohort incited reflection on our delightfully entangled life with the earth and fellow creatures through curated readings, guided reflections, rooted practices, and optional outings.
Kinship Kids Winter Solstice Nature Walk
We celebrated the shortest day of the year with a simple, kid-centered ecotherapy nature walk. The time included some simple prompts and nature-based exercises for kids, a nature walk worksheet, and a Christmas treat post-hike!
Cinematic Kinship Cohort
A film-based learning cohort exploring the theme of kinship as it relates to language, music, hospitality, and life together. We had four sessions in Fall 2022, and we watched each film at our leisure, took notes on any musings or questions, and came to our monthly gatherings for facilitated discussion and lively connection.
Walking Among Deep Time Keepers
Do you long to experience a deeper connection with the natural world? Do you sense a kinship with creation but find it difficult to explain what makes that relationship so powerful? Are you interested in learning more about trees as well as listening to their wisdom? At Kinship Plot, we believe that resonant relationship with the more-than-human world is central to holistic healing and spiritual flourishing. We find deep joy in simple practices like walking, listening, forest bathing, and co-naming, and we would love to share these with you on a walk through one of our favorite forests in Charlotte. This forest walk included an official "treasure tree" grove of American Beech, as well as towering white oaks and black maples, and we took time to ponder and listen to what these trees have to teach us.
Thyme to Heal
Thyme to Heal is a project powered by Kinship Plot in partnership with the Center for Women work release prison in Charlotte, NC. We believe that kinship with land and plants is part of the holistic picture of healing, connection, and wholeness, and everyone should have access to these.
Thyme to Heal is a collaboration of local gardeners and urban farmers working together to share produce boxes, recipes, and instructional teaching with residents of the Center for Women work release prison in Charlotte.
Our bring-and-share Kinship Dinners are open to anyone who long to experience kinship through good food and good conversation. For our kinship dinner in September, the food theme was "anything you can put in a tortilla" and the conversational theme is "the plot." What "plots" (storylines) have shaped you? Which ones are you currently living by? Which ones would you like to shed? Which ones do you hope to continue following? What schemes and plots are currently needed in this world for life to flourish?
A guided dinner + discussion gathering exploring embodied allyship, community, and liberation.
On April 7, 2022 we hosted a community conversation as part of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mecklenburg County. In summer 2021 our County Commissioners charged the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library to research and craft a report on the harm caused by racist policies and practices of our county’s government from its inception in 1868 to today. The gathering engaged the results of the report, allowed us to share personal stories of impact, and imagine restorative practices that will lead toward repair. C4 Counseling and Warehouse 242 co-hosted the conversation and for QC Family Tree in provided the community conversation guide.
Garden Work Day
As we plant the garden this year, we are seeking to increase our yield in order to share with neighbors and increase the scope of our kinship. Several friends plunged their hands into the soil and co-labored with us. The work was lighter and way more delightful.
Away with the Mangers
The Good Neighbor Movement of Greensboro, NC curated an impactful liturgy as an opportunity to marry spiritual formation with direct action for the sake of resisting housing injustice and homelessness (mangers represent insufficient and unstable housing for our Savior, as well as our neighbors). We met Mondays during Advent ( 11/29, 12/6, 12/13, 12/20) at 8:30 PM for 30 minutes on Zoom to walk through the liturgy which includes a word of scripture, song/imagery/poetry, a litany or prayer, short reflection, and call to action. Participants were invited to come and listen/contemplate or discuss and interact, whatever was most fitting for them.
Through an evening of performance art and spoken word poet and theologian de'Angelo Dia enticed us to consider what kinship means today. The evening included interaction, dialogue, artistic response, and experiencing solidarity with one another.
Our Entangled Existence Cohort
We entered 2022 with a growing sense of the cracks that are impacting our shared life on this earth. Ecological destruction, climate change, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the overflow of these forces into social inequity are inviting us to listen to the fundamental wisdom that has always been true: we are all connected. How might our entangled existence with plants, rocks, animals, and our environment be beckoning us to re-orient our attention and habits? How are we to live on this wounded earth that we are complicit in abusing? What does it mean to be faithful creatures on God's earth, not as dominators but as tender kin? What might this mean for our collective survival, the healing of our bodies, communities, and our shared world? These are questions of Christian discipleship and repentance that intend not to condemn but transform us.
Embodied Kinship Cohort
Using Bryan Bantum’s stunning book The Death of Race this cohort explores how the biblical story carries an antidote to the death production of racism in order to un-learn and un-practice the ways it has worked into all of our systems, especially our bodies, imaginging what it might look like to build a new Christianity in a racial world. This cohort is designed to be a liberatory space to learn, delight, and commune with each other in the sacred and ongoing work of anti-racism, including four workshops with reflective, creative prompts to engage in between meetings.