Ariel Aaronson-Eves is a third year MDiv student and an aspirant for UU ordination. Prior to enrolling at Starr King she spent six years working in the fields as a farmer, experiencing everything from isolated cattle ranches to urban educational farms, growing everything from fish to flowers. As she worked the land with her body and connected with people through food and flowers, her spirituality and senses of self and community blossomed. She dreams of a world in which the intention and intimacy she experienced between her body, her food, and her environment can be experienced by all, and is called to explore deeper economic and systems change that may make this possible in a non-exploitative way. Called to “agricultural chaplaincy,” Ariel came to seminary to develop stronger pastoral care and organizing skills to better support farmers, and to explore how religious communities can connect people with the depth of meaning and magic latent in their food.
Developing her Hilda Mason course, “Counter-Oppressive Agrarian Theologies,” has allowed Ariel to explore alternative narratives to the relationship between human and land that are not always present in the local food movement, asking questions like “How does the ideal of the family farm invisibilize queer farmers?” and “How does racism serve to separate Americans from the land?” She is looking forward to developing a community of spiritual learners who can explore such questions together and go forth to ground a food movement based on the liberation of all.