Last year, St. James and St. Paul's AME partnered for the first time to participate in a hunger awareness project sponsored by Rise Against Hunger. The turnout was spectacular and everyone enjoyed working together. Both churches were eager to do another project together on Palm Sunday this year; we felt that this event would serve as a reminder that Jesus fed and served others--a perfect way to prepare for Holy Week.
We only needed 80 volunteers for our project, but between both churches, we had well over 80. Many of our participants were older, or were not able to stand for two hours, and we had enough volunteers that people could sit and rest as needed. We packed over 10,000 meals, which will be sent across the world to hungry people in need, especially women and children.
Some thoughts & observations from St. James parishioners:
"It was a busy but productive afternoon spent with our new friends from St. Paul’s AME Church. Our second year of working together to feed hungry people went so well and we found much energy in the Hogan Room. I was amazed at how quickly we can fill those bags when we all work together."
"I am often hesitant to participate in "race relations" events, because I find they do not usually allow persons to relax in getting to know others as themselves as an individual rather than as a representative of a race.. I found this year I felt more relaxed in being with others, and did feel a potential for more personal interaction in the future. I also felt the worship experiences during the Lent season contributed to this feeling of increased potential, and hope we continue such opportunities, without waiting for Lent next year."
"I was glad when this event was announced earlier in the year. I came to Rise Against Hunger last year and enjoyed meeting new people and seeing people I've known for years who attend St. Paul's. I think it is important for churches to reach out to one another, for us to have the chance to meet and have fellowship with other people in our community. I know St. James and St. Paul's are doing several Lenten events together this year, and I hope we will continue our friendship throughout the year."
More information on Rise Against Hunger:
Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) is an organization committed to ending worldwide hunger by 2030. The organization not only provides nutritious meals to those in need around the globe, especially in schools, orphanages and medical clinics; RAH also responds to crisis situations and develops sustainable ways to empower communities. Click Here for the RAH Website.