“Nourish” may mean food and nutrients to most people, but sometimes I think nourish can imply nourishing the mind in different ways. Challenging our comfort zones and trying new things is one way to nourish the human spirit.
Recently Christian Education Commission sponsored a special week at Parkway. Mission Week was created for the youth of our church to participate in local ministries during one week. During the four days we focused on different areas of needs.
The second day of Mission Week involved spending their funds for the Food Pantry at Pilgrim UCC. Specifically they allotted about $800 from their fundraisers like car washes and the chili cook off to purchase canned goods to help families who come to the pantry once a month. Our youth, Drew Schatz, Iris Cameron, Evan Hasler, Daniel Hasler, Nathaniel Doty, Alison Yakel, Zoe Rutledge, Thomas Clifford, Emma Ross,Colton Kovell-Bratton, Ben Jason and Lydia Roesler, all headed to Aldi’s in Des Peres for the shopping trip. Teams were given lists of foods that Pilgrim’s Coordinator, Diane Yanczer, recommended for family bags, including canned goods and packaged dinners. Each team was asked to select enough food for 10 family bags. In addition we had ordered flats of canned goods to stock their shelves, which we were able to pick up that morning. We then checked out, packed all our cars and headed to Pilgrim. Adults who attended included Barb Kuhlmann, Pat Owens, Linda Tossing, Pat Klein, Georgia Herpel, Marv Herpel, Harold Cobb and Carol Cobb!
At the church we formed a line to get all the food to the basement level. Our youth did a fine job in the very hot weather. We met one of their youth who works during the summer in the food pantry and joined in all our activities that day.
Diane then gave us a brief history of the church and the mission of the lunches and the church food pantry. After a great lunch, their custodian, Vernon Billops, gave us a tour of the church from the fourth floor gymnasium to the Danforth Chapel, even giving us a peek behind the enormous pipes of their fabulous organ. We met their choir director and asked if we could hear the famous pipe organ, which is the second largest in the city. He generously gave us a wonderful concert on the organ to the delight of all of us. The rest of the afternoon was spent stocking shelves and finishing up our 40 donated family bags.
It was a great experience to visit an urban church, hear their history, and assist in a small way with their mission. We nourished their clients by replenishing their shelves, but also nourished our hearts and minds at the same time.
Convener Christian Education Commission