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Friday, September 18, 2015

Plant peace, harvest justice - Crop Hunger Walk 2015

In one month, on October 18, 2015, our village churches (and others) will take part in the Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk. For many years now (I've lost count!) music ministry and I have raised money by walking the 10K route with dozens of other citizens. Church World Services, sponsor of the Crop Hunger Walk movement around the country, has its headquarters in West Chicago, and is rated and listed by Charity Navigator with a 3-star (of four) rating, funneling 86¢ of every dollar raised directly to those whom it serves. In 2014, over 65% of its funds went directly to refugee settlement and assistance.

The autumn walk in Barrington is generally delightful, with the trees offering a brightly-lit course through the village for participants. On those rare occasions where we experience a rain-out (many of us will walk on a drizzly day, but for some it's dangerous for health and walking), we'll walk the course another day when the sun is out. The entire route is 10K (about six miles) through and around the village, and there is a "golden mile" for those unable to the entire route. This year, we start at SALEM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH on Lincoln, west of Hough Street (Rte. 59), with check-in beginning at 12:30 and the walk beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Sara Miles runs The Food Pantry, a ministry of 
St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. 
She is the author of the book Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead
Every Friday more than 500 people line up for the free food the pantry serves. 

You can join us in fighting hunger by walking with us and raising funds for the team (follow link, click "join team"), or just by making a donation (follow link, click "donate now.") To our Barrington friends especially: not only does CROP Hunger Walk help relieve the suffering of the hungry in other places around our nation and the world: every year, for the last several years, some of the money raised has come back to Barrington, in fact, right to our own food pantry at St. Anne. So we are making a difference everywhere, including our own back yard.

I'm going to write more next week on this blog about what St. Anne's House of Hope is doing in and around Barrington. For now, let me just say that just in the ministry of feeding the hungry, the parish runs a food pantry on the premises that is open five days a week, and another monthly pantry at the Public Works building in Carpentersville with the Northern Illinois Food Bank that gives groceries to nearly a hundred families, and we're looking to start this on a second day every month. I'm proud of what my fellow parishioners are doing for the love of Christ and the gospel to make this happen. It is the goal of our liturgical and music ministry to inspire this kind of living in one another, so that by receiving the bread of life on Sunday, we can feed others with the bread that is our own lives the other six days of the week. Over and over, like your church too, I'm sure, this is what happens.

Marie Jochum, the wonderful and energetic director of Hope Ministries, has continued and begun to expand on the rich legacy of Sr. Lorraine Menheer, SSSF, who began House of Hope in the parish many years ago and who passed away in 2010. Her legacy lives on in the life of the parish in the consciousness and work of St. Anne on behalf of the poor in our area and in ministries in Latin America and Africa. Sister Lorraine inspired me, many years ago, to get involved with Crop Hunger Walk and in our food pantry, and it has been something I have loved to do with her and now in her memory, with our wonderful community.

So, please, if you are able, join our team and/or make a donation. And I'll see you on October 18 at Salem! Beloved child of God, let gratitude fill your heart, and say "me too!" to what this realtor's sign said, which I snapped along the route of Crop Hunger Walk last year:

It was a sign from God (and ReMax) along the 2014 route.