Two years ago, on April 29th, we had a church-wide retreat in Reighart Hall. It was a wonderful gathering of people of all ages for fellowship, worship, and discernment. We asked ourselves, one another and God, how and where God was calling us next.
Through prayer and conversation with one another, the group split into six main groups for further discussion, prioritizing and planning. Most of those groups have already carried out their initiatives. They ranged from fellowship events like the Summer church picnic and painting parties, game nights, and developing a ministry for more ‘seasoned’ adults. We are still in the process of trying to figure out how to enact sustainable youth ministry. We’ve had some traction but are still in need of strong, regular leadership.
The last group was passionately discussing and debating about how to initiate a sustainable hands-on mission within the church and community. Two years almost to the day, the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry will have its Grand Opening this Friday Night May 3rd. Although it has already been serving the community for about a month, this is a time to celebrate and thank the dozens of volunteers who have done the extremely challenging work of bringing this from an idea and vision to fruition.
Last week the Rev Sherm Skinner preached on the post-Easter text in John 21, affectionately called “Breakfast on the Beach”. In the course of the story, which is post-resurrection, Jesus asks Peter, three times “Do you love me? , [then] Feed my sheep”. This text and the whole of John 21 has been the centerpiece and the driving force for this mission and all the volunteers; from long and wide community research to the loving labor of power-washing, painting, plumbing, countless meetings, training, and even—yes– crucial inspections. There was response from others in the community who volunteered their professional services, donated plumbing supplies, shelves from a grocer, and meaningful financial gifts.
So please stop by May 3rd from 6-9 pm and celebrate the occasion of this hands-on and visual reminder of Jesus’ call, post-Easter, to love him by feeding his sheep.
Celebrating with you,