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Every year, our presbytery issues a challenge.  For those of you who aren’t Presbyterian, a presbytery is something like an archdiocese.  This year our challenge is to tackle hunger in our communities.

When Rev, Howard challenges us to tackle hunger, he isn’t thinking “they can just pray about it.”  Yes, prayer is a part but we also need to put our prayers in action.  There need to be verbs.

For our part, our congregation expanded our community garden.  The purpose of this garden?  To feed the community.  We doubled the size of the garden and added a bush cherry, three apple trees and four blackberry brambles.  Last week, we made our first harvest.

While the lettuce is looking beautiful, the first thing to be ready to harvest was the row of radishes.  One pound may not sound like a lot but we will get almost that many more and then we will replant them.  Who know that radish seeds grow so quickly?  Not me.  That’s for sure.

Fortunately, the local hungry aren’t relying on just me.  There are people in our congregation who actually know what they’re doing.  They’ve planted kale and lettuce, spinach and corn, and cucumbers.  There will, once again, be lots and lots of cucumbers.

Praying about a problem is good, but as Chevalier said, we need verbs.  We need actions.  We need to add hands and feet to our prayers.  In this particular instance, that means planting.

Sit down and think for a moment.  What are your prayers for your community?  How can you add a verb to these prayers?   Christ, after all, called us to walk among the people.

–SueBE

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Last night, I listened to an interview with Todd Bol, the founder of Little Free Libraries.  For those of you who may not know what these are, they are the tiny libraries that look like elaborate mail boxes.  Set on posts in yards and parks throughout the country, those who put them up stock them with books for their communities.

Why?  As Bol explained in the interview, those who are illiterate are more likely to be incarcerated, to be hungry and to be homeless.  Not that others don’t suffer as well, but literacy is an amazing safety net.  And putting out these libraries shows the community that reading matters and that they, the people in this community, matter.

For me, the best part of the interview was when Bol mentioned all the griping and snarking being committed in the name of politics.  “That’s not who we are,” said Bol.  He emphasized that the American people are people who work together to solve problems.  That we are people who work together to build community.

Amen!

What is your favorite community building activity?  I’ve taken part in river clean ups, worked at the food pantry, and gone on hunger walks. In a community garden this summer, I learned how prickly “wild” cucumbers are and just how many 14 plants produce.

Community builders.  Provisioners. His hands and his feet in the world.  This is who we are.

–SueBE

 

This quote applies to so many areas of life.

Are you active in your community, working to help improve the things that need improving?  Or do you move?

Do you volunteer in your children’s schools?  Or do you put them in private schools to avoid the bad element?

Unhappy with your church?  Do you work to make changes or do you go in search of another?  I have to admit that here I’m lucky.  I’m Presbyterian.  The members govern the church.  We hire the pastor.  It is ours.

But I’m also lucky because I’m an idea person.  I don’t see a problem and panic.  I see a problem and start looking at the possibilities.  In truth, it is a tendency that can annoy other people.  Even if I don’t know how to take step 1 (turn of the water flowing across the floor), I know who will know.  So you make that phone call.  You get a mop.

I don’t have Edison’s patience.  Honestly, I don’t know that I would have found 10,000 things that didn’t work as I struggled to make the lightbulb.  But that’s okay.  That’s Edison’s thing.  I can do my thing to make the world a more beautiful place.

When we act as Christ’s hands and feet, we aren’t just looking for greener pastures.  We are looking, in my not-so-humble opinion, for ways to make the pasture greener.

–SueBE

This is a saying that I can see as the heart of a parable.  Why?  Because it is really about so much more than planting a tree.

It is about all of those days where you find out about a mistake that you, or someone else, made days, weeks or months ago.  Do you fix the mistake or throw up your hands in defeat?

It probably comes as no great surprise, that I’m a fixer.  I research and fiddle and compare until I get it to work.  I am very “I’ll do it myself.”

But that also means that I have I hard time acknowledging that someone else might now how to do it.  More than once my husband has come along with the solution only to get snarled at.  Not that that stops him.  He too is a fixer.

And that’s what we need today.  People who are willing to fix things that have been wrong for a long, long time.  That’s what Ruth wrote about in her post, Somethings Got to Change. When people of any given demographic know that they will be WRONG simply because they are black/male/unemployed or whatever, then something has got to change.

That’s what being the hands and feet of Christ is all about.  Helping those who are the least in our society.  Fixing what has been wrong for a very long time.

–SueBE

I find myself wondering this as I listen to the people around me use various tragedies to further their own agendas and gain screen time for themselves.  I will continue to post images but I’m not going to have much to say.  Why?  I’ll be offline looking for those who are helping quietly.  In the background.  Out of the spot light.  Christ’s hands on earth.

–SueBE

 

 

I love reading all of the PC USA updates on social justice.  Alone, I can only do so much, but working together?  We can do great things all in the name of Him who Loves us all.

Working for the greater good. Being the hands of Christ.

Actions speak louder than words which is probably why being Christ’s hands seems to work so well.

roosevelt

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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