Deb started it. She said, “You know, we should collect canned goods for the food pantry every week.” So we did. We told everyone in the congregation, “Our goal is for everyone to bring one item every week.” We put a big basket by the door of the church, and people starting bringing food every week.
Then one Sunday morning, Franny, who was eight years old, said, “Can I count the food?” So she invented a new ministry: Food Counter. And every week she or another child counts the number of items we collect and announces it at the end of the service, so we know whether we met our goal.
Meanwhile, Isabelle and Louise learned that there was a lot of interest in Watertown in starting a community garden. So they helped make that happen. And the gardeners thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we grew fresh, healthy vegetables to take to the food pantry?” So they did.
And then Kelly, a member of the congregation who works at the Perkins School for the Blind, found out that some of her students needed a new service project. “Maybe they could take the food we collect every week at church to the food pantry.”
So she made that happen. And today, Vin and Kelly (teachers) brought Rachel and Alicia (students), to pick up food and take it to the Watertown Food Pantry. They’ll be back every week for more.And soon, the canned goods they deliver will be given out alongside swiss chard and lettuce and string beans grown in the community garden.
It’s like a tendril of relationships and care, organically connecting all manner of folks in Watertown. So far, it connects residents having trouble making ends meet, Sunday School children learning about what it means to love their neighbors, folks who like to garden who didn’t know before how much hunger there is in Watertown, life-long church-goers learning to connect the Bread of Life they receive at the altar every week with the call to take bread out to the world, and tweens with multiple disabilities striving to serve “those in need.”
I know, we’re not solving the problem of hunger. We get a C+ for efficiency. But we’re addressing a spiritual hunger that is very real. And the Holy Spirit gets an A+ for amazing us. I wonder whom the tendril will touch next?