Last year, I did not see many church leaders and pastors at the food and faith events I attended. I wondered if they knew about these events. As I reflected, I asked another question, “How can the valuable information I am learning about hunger, food insecurity, and food justice be accessible to church leaders and pastors?” Partners in Health and Wholeness has the answer. We are co-sponsoring an opportunity for pastors and church leaders to come together and engage in conversation about food justice issues. We will discuss food insecurity and food deserts within Winston-Salem as well as the connection between food and faith at “Churches Working Together: A Food Justice Event.” It takes place on Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lower Auditorium of Wingate Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Brunch will be provided.
We hope faith-based organizations will work together, explore options, and implement a plan of action. A few of the presenters will be Rev. Charolette Leach of Morning Star Baptist Church, Marty and Ben Tennille of H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat), Forsyth Futures, Tamica Patterson of Rebecca’s Store, and many more.
Food justice and the church make for an intriguing combination. The church was created to be more than a place of praise, worship, and service within the walls; it is much broader and greater. It is also a place of healing, reconciliation, and the feeding of both our stomachs and our souls. In John 6, we see the conversation between Jesus and his disciples Philip and Andrew pertaining to how they were going to buy food to feed thousands of people. Jesus tests Philip in asking him where are they going to buy the bread. Instead of Philip answering Jesus’ question and naming the local markets, he said that it would cost a lot of money even to buy the bread for the thousands. Andrew speaks up and says that a boy has five loaves of bread and two fishes but couldn’t fathom how the amount of food would feed thousands.
When we read down to verse 12, we see in the text that five loaves of bread and two fishes were sufficient enough to feed 5000 people and have food left over to fill twelve baskets. How can we use what we already have to help our community? If we lack resources, where and how can we get them? These are the questions we will begin to engage in conversation on April 12.
Please RSVP by April 9 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Crystal Rook, PHW Intern