Feeding Sheep

This past spring, I spent some of my Thursday afternoons volunteering at the food pantry my church houses. Our pantry looks a lot like this photo. It is in a big closet in the church basement.

I had naively thought that our pantry was the only one in the Near Philadelphia area, and subsequently learned that several churches in the area have pantries and there is a large store-front  community pantry in the town adjacent to ours.

Today I learned of yet another. And I am still trying to wrap my mind around what these people are doing.

My husband is an architect with a very small practice. He does a lot of different kinds of projects from home additions to clusters of condominiums. He also does a fair amount of church work -- making church buildings accessible, reorienting sanctuaries, providing additions. Recently he received a referral for a project for a small church located in the least affluent part of our township. It's a Seventh Day Adventist congregation, a denomination we don't know very much about. 

These people have a food pantry of their own, and apparently it is nothing like the one pictured above. My husband visited and told me that it is in a building separate from the church, and in addition to the shelves and shelves of canned goods, there are numerous refrigerators and freezers. It is big. And it seems that the township -- or somebody else in authority -- has told the Adventists that they cannot continue their food pantry ministry because the building doesn't have a bathroom.

Undaunted, they have contacted this architect to help them figure out how to remedy this situation. 

It is not a small feat to add a bathroom to a property that lacks one. And these Adventists understand that it is going to cost them several thousand dollars to meet this requirement.

They are so committed to their mission that they have not even considered closing their pantry because of the unanticipated expense. 

Think about it: This congregation, because of where they are located, understands better than my congregation what it means to have a food pantry. They are far from a wealthy church. Certainly the contingency line in their budget is not sufficient to cover these costs. 

However, they will raise whatever money is necessary to be allowed to continue their outreach effort to feed the hungry.

I can't help wondering whether my own church would be as dedicated.


Janet O. said…
Can your husband get us contact info for donating? Won't be much, but I'm guessing every penny will help.
Quiltdivajulie said…
So very true when questioning the real dedication to a project. Thought provoking post.
stitchinpenny said…
I often wonder if I have a true understanding of giving. I have a lot by comparison, but never seem to give much. WE give to food drives, holiday drives and of course our weekly amount. We help out with marriage prep and in the past taught for years and did other stuff, but is it enough? Are we making inroads or falling behind? I will continue to do what I can and hope that at some point I will get it. Share you smile and gifts.
Barbara Anne said…
As my grandmother used to say, "Don't be so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good!" and it seems that little 7th Day Adventist church has the right idea. May their efforts continue to bear fruit. Hope there will be a way to contribute a bit as Janet O. said.

I think I take the area I live in (near South Bend Indiana) for granted. There are a lot of food pantries in this area. There are food drives all the time sponsored by various groups. Several, no MANY of the local restaurants take left over food to the homeless shelters daily. I have know several 7th Day Adventist, but admit I know very little about their religious beliefs.

This is a thought provoking post. It is also a spirit lifting post.
xx, Carol