All Who Hunger…

Christ-Centered and Relationship core values stories featured feeding ministries.

Lutherans love to feed people! We heard about many ways to feed our neighbors during Assembly from stocking food pantries and cooking hot meals for those experiencing food insecurity to engaging in conversation with people who are feeling the pangs of loneliness. These ministries were often tied to the synod’s core values. Generosity of spirit and of resources certainly linked all these stories of addressing hunger in our communities.

The core value of Christ-Centered was addressed on Friday morning by Pastor Jennifer Shimota of Coble’s, Julian, recounted a story of her rural congregation’s blessing box. When she joined the church as pastor, she doubted that the small outdoor food pantry would be utilized much since their location was out in the country. She humbly told the gathering that as she watched from her parsonage window, a steady stream of cars came by to take what they needed and to deposit food for others. Christ was—and surely is—at the center of this little blessing box as neighbors work to feed each other.

Friday afternoon’s core value address was by Pastor Shea Berbaum on Relationships. As small congregations struggle to continue God’s work in the face of shrinking membership and/or contributions, Pastor Shea’s two small congregations, Philadelphia and Holy Communion, both in Dallas, offer an example of how joining together can breathe new life into ministry. As they embarked upon their traditional Lenten Meals together, the churches decided to open it to the community. The outreach was such a success that they felt called to continue after the Lenten season. Although they were unsure of how this new ministry would work, God strengthened their numbers by adding new congregations to the partnership. Additional churches in the area—Baptist, Methodist, and others—have stepped in to help provide a weekly meal to the neighborhood; the program is thriving.

I couldn’t help thinking about my church’s programs that are centered around feeding the hungry of belly or spirit. I imagine that each of you has a story to tell about feeding someone during a church-led event or program. The myriad of biblical references to feeding God’s people confirm that this is holy work. May we all keep looking for new and innovative ways to live into our calling to feed those who hunger for nourishment.


Carol Schierlmann (Advent, Charlotte) for the NC Synod

Pastor Shae e-news

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