Churches take a bite out of hunger
Oct. 31 found more than dressed-up children strolling the streets of St. Catharines, Ont., hoping for a handout. Through their involvement with Bridges, volunteers from three MB churches collected food for Community Care, a local nonprofit organization serving people in need.
Twelve churches from different denominations joined together to form Bridges, a group that meets monthly to plan how they can minister to the community through large events. Three MB churches, Grantham Church, New Hope Church Niagara, and Southridge Community Church–North End, are part of Bridges. Each covered one of the 12 zones into which Bridges divided the north end of the city for the purpose of the event.
Oct. 31 was the collection date because the majority of people in the city were already prepared to open their doors that evening. October is also when food supplies typically run low in Community Care’s food bank.
Grantham MB Church, which organized a smaller drive previous years, was excited to join a team and reach a larger area of St. Catharines. Grantham was also one of seven churches to offer a free hot meal to the clients of Community Care the following Sunday.
Retired Grantham MB Church pastor, John Wiebe, encourages others to duplicate the event in their own community. “It’s a lot of hard work,” he admits. “You have to map out each area, pre-deliver paper bags, and secure volunteers to collect the food, but it’s worth it.”
“Jesus told us to feed the poor,” adds New Hope Church Niagara assistant pastor Wald Pauls. “Maybe God is waiting for us to say we’ll partner with him and do what he wants.” He encourages other churches to “stop talking about being missional and do it. Move the church outside of its walls.”
Pastor Ed Willms from Southridge Community Church–North End welcomes phones calls from groups seeking direction.