Jesus taught an agricultural and fishing people who were close to the source of the food they shared and consumed. Most people are many steps separated from the production of the food we eat each day. But, even if we have less understanding of agriculture than our ancestors did, we still understand that Jesus’ command to feed one another refers to physical as well as spiritual feeding.
Whether or not they know where or how their food is grown, many United Church of Christ congregations affirm that food once produced is meant to be shared. Food pantries and meals offered by UCC congregations live out the most basic form of care for one another–give of food.
Windsor Severance Food Pantry at Faith UCC in Colorado gives away the canned goods familiar to many food pantries. But they also offer an evening of fellowship and eating together each Wednesday evening. The pantry truly offers “a place at the table” for anyone in the neighborhood looking for a hot meal. You can find out more about their work at: https://www.faithunitedchurchofchrist.com/a-place-at-the-table.
The food pantry in Kirtland, Ohio’s Old South United Church of Christ has seen so much need in recent years that they have expanded into three times their former space. Now Kirtland’s pantry has moved to a more modern model of providing food. Clients to the pantry now shop the shelves, as if they are in a grocery store. You can read more at: https://www.news-herald.com/news/ohio/kirtland-s-old-south-united-church-of-christ-reopens-food/article 10bbff05-6707-52e0-af30-f795736acf98.html.
In Connecticut, the food pantry in Norfolk United Church of Christ pantry recently expanded not space, but hours, making their food pantry more accessible to those in need in their town. More there: http://norfolkctucc.org/ucc/norfolk-food-pantry/.
Wherever you are located, give some thought to your local congregation. How do you follow Christ’s lead in feeding people in body as well as spirit? Prayerfully consider if there is some way that you could expand your feeding programs.