Let’s Pack the Pews! (2018)

By Rick Summy (2018)
Senior Pastor

Let’s pack the pews! With people? Well, sure, it would be great to have our pews packed with people every weekend. But this March, we are working on packing the pews with food. Throughout Lent we are asking for food donations with the goal of collecting 15,000 pounds of food for SOTV’s Our Daily Bread Food Shelf, which just recently expanded from two days a week of service to three. We will track our giving on the church poster in the narthex so we can see how we are doing. 

The amount of physical hunger in the United States and around the world is staggering.

For instance, according to www.dosomething.org:

  • 1 in 6 people in the United States face hunger
  • Food insecurity (lack of access, at times, to enough food for household members) is a reality in 20.6% of households with children and 12.2% of households without children
  • More than 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger
  • More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries
  • Nearly 40% of food in the U.S. is thrown out every year
  • Around the world, there are 815 million hungry people (1 in 9), according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Others believe that the number is actually much higher.

The Bible is full of calls to care for the poor and needy among us. Surely there is no threshold that must be met before we provide such essential human needs as food and shelter. Any spirituality or religion that ignores these needs is not living in the Biblical tradition of doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly. Jesus fed the hungry. In fact, the feeding of the multitude is the only miracle story included in all four gospels. That’s how important it was!

Shepherd of the Valley is committed to doing our best to care for the poor, to work toward finding shelter for all who need it, to assuring that those who are hungry have access to food. I believe this is essential to both our humanity and to Christianity.

Now, Our Daily Bread Food Shelf isn’t going to solve hunger in the United States or in the world. But it’s an important way for us to do our part, to provide for those in need in our community.

So, let’s pack the pews this Lent. With food! How about 15,000 pounds of it!

Hunger isn’t a laughing matter, of course. But it never hurts to have a little extra motivation. Should we meet our goal, the pastors have committed to wearing crazy hats (or hair) the weekend after Easter as a way to celebrate. You’re all invited to join in on the fun.

After all, we are called to be fools for Christ, too!

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