August 22, 2018

A ton of help for the hungry

Two congregations in Upper Bucks established a Community Vegetable Garden that provides fresh organic produce to two local food pantries. Jerusalem Lutheran in Almont and St. Michael’s Lutheran in Sellersville teamed up 3 years ago to tend the “Garden of Eat’n.” Donations are now approaching the 1 ton of produce milestone!

The Garden is a wonderful example of “how we can do more together than we can ever do alone.” Jerusalem had plenty of vacant old farm land around their building, but had few people able-bodied enough to garden. St. Michael’s had more people, but was landlocked with a cemetery adjacent to the church building. Both had thoughts of a garden, but neither church could make it happen alone. It looked like the dream to have a garden was dead.

Things changed when the churches engaged in conversation. A garden team from the churches quickly formed, and planting began soon after. Spring Garden Planting Days are held in April, and Thrivent Action teams help out. This year a Fall Planting Day is being added on the ELCA Day of Service Sunday to give the Garden a second wind with the planting of some of the hearty colder weather crops.

The Garden has produced more than food; it has sparked friendships between the congregation members. Last year the churches met for Summer Garden Dinner Church when people gathered midweek for a meal, worship, and service in the garden. This year the two churches are joining together for Vacation Bible School, and already a bumper crop of Pre-K’s are registered early. It seems the Garden is not only growing food for the hungry in the community, but is building community and feeding spiritual hungers.

Submitted by: Pastor Julie Bergdahl, St. Michael’s, Sellersville