Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Food and Scarcity

I recently guest preached at a small congregation. There were 30 people attending at most -- a good sunday. When I went to the coffee hour/fellowship gathering there was an amazing spread. It looked as if they were expecting fifty or more people. They had sweets, veggies & dip, chips and little hot dogs. I asked if it was a special occasion.

"Yes. Its Sunday!"

Obviously food is one of the things that makes them feel good about their community. They coordinate volunteers to make sure there is a phenominal spread every time. We all lingered and talked and talked and fed our stomachs AND especially our souls. I left feeling great (and ready for a nap).

This is in stark contrast to another church I speak at regularly. They have multiple buildings, multiple staff, an endowment and are worried sick about money. Not too long ago they started placing a tin can next to the coffee for donations. This wasn't even fair trade coffee.

Soon after, still looking to save, they lowered the quality of and volume of the food. Now, I believe they are going through a period without any food for guests, visitors, or members.

Last time I was in their coffee hour I felt sad. The kind of sad I feel whever I see a person who is in need. You know, down and out and in need of food, shelter or some spare change.

This is NOT a good image for a church to project. If they can't figure out how to feed guests and members how well can they be feeding the rest of their beings?