The seeds of Dr. Carolyn Adams Roth's retirement passion were planted growing up in the Greencastle area.
The author, blogger and Master Gardener delves into plants in the Bible with books like "Rooted in God," "God as a Gardener" and "Good News in Nature" and does other biblical exploration such as "Out of the Shadows: Exposing the Power of Bible Women" and "Lesser Known Bible Characters."
She is coming to town this weekend for the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 1965 reunion at Mrs. Gibble's.
And on Sunday, Sept. 30, she will give the program "Planting a Bible Garden: Transcending Church and Self" at 11 a.m. in the parish hall at Trinity Episcopal Church, 58 S. Second St., Chambersburg.
Roth left Greencastle 55 years ago and as a Navy nurse then professor of nursing and health sciences has lived in places like San Francisco, eastern Washington state and west Texas. She and her husband, Bruce, retired to Roanoke, Virginia.
"I still consider Greencastle home," she said. "Greencastle was a wonderful place to grow up."
She attended Greencastle Church of the Brethren and "got very grounded in my faith."
She is the daughter of the late Paul and Jane Adams and her family lived in the Browns Mill/Kauffman area. They had a huge garden and her mother planted flowers all around the house.
Roth remembers she had to take care of an area about 8 inches wide planted with flowers like marigolds and zinnias along the 50-foot walk to the garage.
"I was angry I had to tend it because I was a girl and my brothers didn't," she recalled. Watering and pulling weeds were "a terrible strain on an 11-year-old."
Plants in the Bible
Roth retired in 2008 and did not know what she wanted to do with her time, but found her focus when she enrolled in the Master Gardener program, putting in hundreds of hours before graduating in 2011.
The gardening dovetailed with her interest in exploring the Bible and has taken her as far as Israel and Jordan.
For "Rooted in God," she went through and circled every plant mentioned in the Old and New Testaments and investigated its symbolism.
"God as a Gardener" looks at plants in the parables and "why they are the perfect part of creation for the parables."
"Good News in Nature" is about plants in the four Gospels. Roth highlights that Jesus used plants more than any other example, including sheep and stars.
Roth and her husband, who she describes as a "a very good digger," gave her research a living, growing component by planting a Bible garden at St. John Lutheran Church in Roanoke.
Featuring 80 to 90 plants, each with a sign bearing its name and a verse in the Bible where it appears. It was named Bible Garden of the Year in 2015 by the Biblical Botanical Garden Society.
Roth was connected to the Chambersburg church, where a Bible garden is being considered, through a friend of her brother, Van Adams.
"I would be thrilled if some of my classmates would come to the talk," she said.
For more information, visit: www.carolynrothministry.com
Contact Shawn Hardy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-597-2164