“Feed My Sheep” – Community Gardens in NWPA

If you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday.  Isaiah 58:10 

Several of the churches in the Diocese of NWPA have taken the idea of feeding the hungry and are ministering in a very direct way – growing community gardens and sharing the produce with others.

Grace Church, Ridgway’s community garden was begun in 2013.
grace-ridgway-garden“We have 15 4’x4′ raised gardenbeds. This year we were assisted by a local group encouraging agriculture in general and the establishment of community gardens throughout Elk County by improving the walk ways between our beds, the donation of man/woman/child power, and by donating seeds and plants. In addition to providing fresh vegetables to the community at large, we donate our harvests to the local food bank and to the local Senior Citizen High Rise residents.”  The Rev. Bonnie Skellen

 

Church of Our Savior, DuBois is finishing up their third growing season.

church-of-our-savior-gardens

“The land for the garden is at the back of Church of Our Saviour in DuBois, but our planning team and volunteers are drawn entirely from the broader community.  We have had the garden for three seasons and have finally begun to see an increase in the number of folks who come by and pick veggies.”  The Rev. Melinda Hall

There is also a website to introduce people to the garden and update everyone on what’s ready to pick: (https://duboiscommunitygarden.wordpress.com/).

This year was Emmanuel Church, Corry’s first time participating in a community garden.

emmanuel-corry-gardens

“Emmanuel, Corry helped sponsor (along with businesses and other organizations) a new community organic garden and had a plot in it… The yield from our plot went to church folks, neighbors, friends, those in need, and the staff at the Y.  Lots of lessons learned (like don’t put in a million tomato plants!).   Note…we did not initiate this; someone else did.  But it seemed like a good idea, so we joined in.” The Rev. Mary Norton

This year was a first in gardening at St. Stephen’s, Fairview as well.

st-stephens-gardens

“The ‘Glory of God Garden’, or G3, is located behind the church in raised beds that were a joint collaboration between the church and the local Boy Scout troop. The produce is donated to food pantries in Fairview and Girard, and the hope for next year is to involve the St. Stephen’s Nursery School in the project as well. (If you look closely, you can see that the garden is not only feeding people, but some fortunate wildlife too!)”  Megin Sewak

The growing season is winding down for the year and the last vegetables will make their way to those in need, but already plans are in the works for next year’s harvest – bringing food and hope to communities throughout the diocese.

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