'Becoming a Thistle Farmer' subject of Becca Stevens' Women's History Month talk March 28 at Elizabethtown College
The Rev. Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest and Chaplain of St. Augustine’s at Vanderbilt University, visits Elizabethtown College Wednesday, March 28, in conjunction with Women’s History Month. She will speak on, “Becoming a Thistle Farmer: Learning to Walk with Courage and Humility” at 11 a.m. in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center.
Stevens is founder of Magdalene & Thistle Farms, a residential community and social enterprise for women recovering from violence, prostitution, addiction and life on the streets. Magdalene, the residential model, serves women for two years at no cost to residents. Thistle Farms employs 35 residents and graduates who manufacture, market and sell all-natural bath and beauty products in more than 200 retail stores across the globe.
Stevens’ remarks will focus on the journey of launching Magdalene and how hope and an unguarded heart spreads love in a broken world. “Love is my grounding,” said Stevens. “It provides the basic truths that govern what I do. First is that love is the most powerful source for social change in the world. Second is that love heals. I’m not called to change the world. I am called to love it.”
Stevens is author of eight books and has been featured on NPR, PBS and CNN and in Huffington Post, Southern Living, Christian Century and Victoria Magazine. She was named "Nashvillian of the Year" and "Tennessean of the Year" by the Nashville (Tenn.) Scene and The Tennessean, respectively. In 2010, she became the youngest and first female recipient of The University of the South's "Distinguished Alumnus" award. Most recently, Stevens was named by the White House as one of 15 “Champions of Change.” She was named the 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Nashville and has received awards from the Frist Foundation and the Academy of Women of Achievement.
To date, Stevens has raised more than $13 million for the organizations she supports. Her latest books are “Funeral for a Stranger” and a walking Bible study series, “The Path of Peace, Justice, and Love”. Stevens lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons.