Category Archives: Feeding

How Can We Call Ourselves Christian?

There is a story about a young man that was brought before Alexander the Great. The young man had stolen a horse and was brought in by the guards so he could be judged. Knowing that this was an offense that was severely punished, everyone waited to see what Alexander would do.

Alexander looked at the boy and was moved by the look of fear on his face. Thinking of leniency, Alexander asked the boy his name. The boy looked up and sheepishly said, “Alexander”. The Emperor taken back, moved toward the boy in anger and said, “Boy, what is your name?” The boy afraid for his life said, “Alexander sir.” No more did the word come out of his mouth that the emperor jumped on the boy and threw him to the ground. Enraged he pointed at the boy and said, “Boy, change your behavior or change your name!”

I am not sure of the authenticity of the story, but I think the point is well taken. We need to walk our talk!

The Bible in the book of James says, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:14-17)

There are needs all around us. We need to be busy helping to meet those needs. The church has ignored the cries of those around them for too long. We have lost of credibility as people helpers. When is the last time a church has been invited to meetings about social needs? Helping reduce crime, eradicate poverty, provide affordable housing, help the homeless. These and hundreds of other social needs are crying out for help. Where are we? If we were brought before Jesus today and had to give an account of what we and our churches are doing to make a difference outside our four walls, what would He say? Would we hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!” or “Change your behavior or change your name!”

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Hunger – Food Shelter

If your church is large enough or in an area where there are sufficient amount of people needing assistance with food, you may want to consider a food pantry. The size would depend on the need and the availability of other assistance. If you are just looking to help those in your own church and their network, you may only need a moderate size pantry. If you are going to open it up to the public, depending on the number of other pantries in the area, you may need a larger pantry. What should you stock? When planning a food pantry it is good to know what to buy or ask donors for. If allowed, people will donate many kinds of odd foods. It helps if you can create a list based around six basic groups. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, toiletries, paper supplies and necessary clothing. Also you need to determine how often you will be using the pantry. If occasional use by those that drop by or are in need in congregation then set up an area for mainly can goods and boxed goods that will keep. If there are weekly pick-ups you may want to add things that you can refrigerate. If there is daily traffic you may want to include an area with fresh donated food. 

Here are some of the basics: 

Breakfast – STORED: This is crucial, especially for children and seniors. Cereals, breakfast bars, dried milk, fruit juices, coffee and tea. REFRIGERATION: Eggs, milk, cheeses, some meats. DAILY: Pastries and baked goods.  

LunchSTORED: Peanut butter & jelly, tuna fish, canned meats, meals in a can, i.e., Spaghetti-O’s, stews, hash, ravioli, soups, condiments for sandwiches, crackers and cookies. REFRIGERATION: Cold cuts, lunch meats, cheese, eggs, milk and some meats. DAILY: Prepared food for reheating and sandwiches. 

Dinner – STORED: Canned fruits & vegetables, beans, pasta, rice, sauces, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Canned meats, soups and meals. Jello and pudding. Box and jar baby food. REFRIGERATION: Cold cuts, cheese, milk and some meats. Casseroles and precooked meals. DAILY: Prepared food for reheating. 

Toiletries – Soap, shampoo, conditioners, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and foot powder.

Paper supplies – Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, diapers, and handi-wipes.
Necessary clothing – Underwear, socks, tee-shirts, clothes, warm coats and hats. 

If you, or someone in your church is seriously interested in having a ministry like this, I would encourage you to make a few calls and find out what other churches or agencies are doing. Ask them for help and find out what the true need in your area.

For more information on how your church can get involved in reaching the community e-mail Ron Ovitt at ron@empowerministry.org and we will send you a copy of Close To The Heart of God. Also go to www.empowerministry.org for helpful materials.

Do you want to know more about your Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE to download your free Spiritual Gifts Test and Workbook.

 

101 Ways You and Your Church Can Make A Difference – HUNGER

Hunger – It’s not just children with bloated stomachs in
Africa. It is here in the
United States too. Chances are hunger affects families not that far from your front door. The good news there is much we can do to alleviate hunger.

101 Ways – HUNGER #1 Have a food drive

Most towns have agencies that feed the hungry. They are always in need of more food. The easiest way you can get involved is to collect food for them and either deliver it or have them pick it up. The best way is to have a stretch goal with an adequate time limit. Usually you can plan one month to raise about 2 pounds of food per congregant. So if you have 500 in average attendance, if you advertised it well, you could collect at least 1000 pounds of food in four Sundays. This would be exciting for your church and those that get the food.

What are you and/or your church doing to help with hunger? Go above to Share How You Are Making A Difference and let us know. 

Also go to our BOOKSTORE to find books that can help your church make a difference!

 Next Post – Create a Food Pantry

 

It’s getting harder to be a single parent

I was talking to a woman today on the phone. It was her birthday and I called her to wish her well. I could tell she was down and we started to talk about her needs.

She is divorced and the father hasn’t been much help. She was laid off her job. She is trying to sell her house but the market is down. She had to dip into her 401 saving program to make it during Christmas.

I sat there on the other end of the phone listening with my heart aching and yet not knowing what to do that very moment. What would you do? What would your church do? That is what this blog is about. We have to find some answers.

Single women raising children is the fastest growing poverty demographic in America. Every church has pews full of women in this kind of situation. What are we doing about it? What can we do? Here are a few things I can think of:

Have a food pantry, have a support group, have a list of referral agencies that can help, offer budgeting, have a daycare that can discount prices on a sliding scale, increase your benevolent budget, have a job source constantly updated, do job training, find or create affordable housing, create part- time jobs that pay well,  help them with legal help to get the father involved with support, work with other churches and agencies to address these and other issues. At Calvary we have started Calvary Charities to address some of these issues.

In the Bible, James writes in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Could a single woman trying to raise children in America be our “widow”?

What have you and your church been doing? Let us know.