It sounds like an Italian soup with beans and lentils and other assorted ingredients, but it’s just a newly concocted word from the two words: Ministry Testimonies.
We often testify about what God has done in our lives. We speak of the mighty acts of God in the 21st century, but what about the acts of God’s people and their ministries. Ministronies takes a look at the ministry testimonies that occur week to week.
Over 4 years ago, the local congregation started making the first Sunday of the month a time to bring a food offering. The children would bring it forward and learned to present the offering to God. This food filled the food pantry. It is a pantry that is used on a regular basis. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church sends a lot of food out the doors, but the food pantry has never been empty. Just when it looks like the next family might just have to go without; the next family brings food in to donate to the pantry.
In November each year, the congregation would bring a food offering every Sunday. These special offerings were used to fill Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets—sometimes more than 80 at both holidays. This was a community effort with 4 others churches, the local Boy Scouts, the schools, and individuals Spirit-led to bring an offering of food or a monetary donation to buy food. Every family that has come for food has received a healthy quantity.
But people can’t stick to the plan. Now people bring food all of the time, and not just on Sundays. People who know that the church gives food to hungry people stop by with bags of food during the week. Most is not just something leftover in the cupboard. Often, people go out and shop specifically for the food pantry or the Thanksgiving baskets or the Christmas baskets.
Two wicker baskets sit next to the main doors to the sanctuary. Seldom does a week go by where there is not food in the baskets. What started out as a once a month to fill the pantry and a one month food drive to fill gift baskets has turned into a continuous offering of food.
In addition to the nonperishable food, people have donated gift cards to the local butcher shop. Rudy’s, one of two convenience stores in the small town, allows the church to issue certificates that let hungry people get milk, eggs, and other perishable food items.
If there are hungry people in the Burns Flat and Dill City areas, it is not because of the generosity of this community. This community has an ongoing ministry to meet the basic needs of everyone who lives here. Such generosity is part of the heart of almost every local resident.
Where does all that food come from?
From the hearts of all of God’s people.