Rise Church has a saying, “God gives to us so we give back.” Also their mantra is, “Mending God’s creation together.” Their proclamation of this message is loud and clear; as it should be. But even more important, they do an amazing job of putting it into practice! It can be said of Rise: They walk their talk! It is refreshing to see.
How do they put their money where their mouth is? I’m glad you asked! They don’t just say “love” but they do “love.” No individual,whether male or female, gay or straight, red, yellow, black or white, is excluded from their love. All are welcome at God’s table and bless goodness ALL are welcome at Rise. Other ways they love their community is by providing the following:
Love Packs Ministry: Making sure the children in the community have enough food.
Rise and Shine Ministry: Providing hygiene products to those who can’t afford them.
Gleaning Ministry: Collecting donated food and delivering it to local food pantries.
Open Doors: A shelter for area homeless in winter months.
Well, yesterday, Corinne and I had the privilege of being Rise gleaners at our local farmers market. As gleaners we stand by big blue baskets, smile at passerby’s and wait till closing time.
After the market closes, generous farmers donate their unsold vegetables to help feed the hungry within the community. I don’t know about you, but I consider farmers, heroes. Digging in fresh turned dirt, placing a seed and then cultivating it until harvest is a beautiful picture of creation happening all around us. Where would we be without farmers?
Back at the farmer’s market, Corinne and I, stood by and watched the baskets, not only fill, but over-flow. My heart was blessed and humbled to be able to witness such a view. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus and how he feed over five thousand with only five barely loaves and two fish. And then after everyone had had their fill, twelve baskets of leftover food was collected. Do you ever wonder what happened to the leftover food? I don’t know, but I bet it was used to feed the poor and hungry. I don’t think Jesus would have let it go to waste.
After seeing the baskets fill, Corinne and I took them to the Rise Mission House so it could be dispersed to local food pantries and then given to the hungry.
What a beautiful picture of community and church coming together to mend God’s creation.
It’s nice to have a good “talk” but it’s even better when it walks!
“When you harvest your land’s produce, you must not harvest all the way to the edge of your field; and don’t gather up every remaining bit of your harvest. Also do not pick your vineyard clean or gather up all the grapes that have fallen there. Leave these items for the poor and the immigrant; I am the Lord your God.”
— Leviticus 19:9-10