11 Lessons Learned from Mission:1
We asked UCC churches to send us pictures of what they did for Mission:1 and we asked individual members to tell us on Facebook what they have learned from the hunger ministries they were engaged in. Here is collection of words and pictures from just a few of our churches and members across the UCC, paired with inspiring quotes about giving and receiving.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. -Philo of Alexandria
"In my younger days, my first real job was working at a furlough house for women coming out of prison. I learned, then, never to judge another. To be open-minded and fair to everyone."
At the point where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. Robert Brault
"The faith of people who are living on the edge – day to day – is stronger than most of us who don't have to be concerned about where the next meal or bed is coming from."
-Pat C. Whiting
When you carry out acts of kindness . . . it is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel. -Rabbi Harold Kushner
"Our local food bank was getting empty so we raised awareness in the paper, at city council, at the Chamber of Commerce, through posters, and word of mouth. The response was amazing!"
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. -Mother Teresa
"When we serve at Volunteer Ministries, I always like to pour the drinks and hand them out. It lets me be face-to-face with everyone, look them in the eyes. It has been the best experience for me because it isn't just food and the giving/receiving is going in both directions."
I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9.23)
"We take so much for granted. A woman with two teenage boys taught me that when I pushed a cart with two weeks of emergency groceries to her car the week before Thanksgiving. To me, it was only groceries. To her, it was as if God's blessings had been poured out upon her and was more than she could ever have imagined...She hugged me and I cried . . . ."
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:2)
"Even when my partner and I were homeless it seemed like we were always able to give….no matter how 'poor' you are, you are never 'poor' enough to not give back and that God provides what is needed to you, not what you think you need."
God, how manifold are your works! We look to you to give us our food in due season; when you give it to us, we gather it up, when you open your hands, we are filled with good things. (Psalm 104, adapted)
"I am amazed at the gardens grown by people who won't use the produce but give it instead to the food pantry. One man gave his 50 pounds of squash and 100 pounds of beets."
-Susan Graham DeCoster
Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive. (Matthew 21:22)
"To come to a pantry takes an incredible amount of courage. Receiving (and asking) is just as much of a spiritual journey as giving."
Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? (Matthew 25:37)
"I've learned that our guests have much more in common with me than I could have imagined. They have a need for love, laughter and a time for talking. I have learned what grace and thankfulness really mean."
Lord, to those who hunger, give bread. And to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice." Latin American prayer
"People are seeking to be filled in more ways than one."
-Kim Stillmock Dexter
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. -Mahatma Gandhi
"The need is profound."