A Sweet Potato in Your Stocking?

By Jean Blish Siers *

The past few weeks, I’ve been wondering about sweet potatoes in Christmas stockings. When I was a little girl, my mother always put an orange in the toe of our Christmas stocking, but wouldn’t a sweet potato work just as well?

Here’s what got me thinking about it: Just before Christmas, Society of St. Andrew hosted a potato drop at New Friendship Presbyterian Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. The morning of the drop was pretty darned cold. ...

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Manna – and Vegetables – from Heaven

By Jean Blish Siers *

Almost every year, my church offers a class called Disciple Bible Study. Participants meet anywhere from 24 to 36 weeks and dive deep into the Bible. The class I help lead, the first in the series, covers approximately 80% of the Bible, both Old and New Testament, and for many, it’s the first time they’ve ever actually read the Old Testament. I always volunteer to lead that portion – I love the stories, the history, the ...

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The Parable of the Mustard (and Turnip) Seeds

By Jean Blish Siers *

JaredMaybe it’s because I’m a farm girl, but some of the parables I love the most are those that have to do with planting. They speak to me in an instinctual way – earth, sky, seeds, and rain, always combined with human action. In those parables – about the mustard seed or the sower, for instance – the kingdom of God doesn’t arrive passively. It comes through the bounty of ...

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These Boots (and Hands) Are Made for Gleaning!

By Jean Blish Siers *

The best remedy I know for dealing with the news these days is getting away from my iPad and into a field. At a time when America and the world feels increasingly divided, unable, or unwilling to understand the feelings, needs, thoughts, or dreams of our neighbors, working together to benefit someone else has a surprisingly calming affect.

Last week, we gleaned grapes at Pastor Larry’s Prayer Vineyard. Pastor Larry serves a large church in the suburban ...

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The Not-So-Golden Years

By Jean Blish Siers *

Positive reports have been released lately indicating that while food insecurity in the United States remains higher than it was before the Great Recession began in 2008, it has declined slowly but steadily since 2011. Along with this bit of good news, there is troubling note: The number of food insecure seniors is not only higher than the average for other groups, it has not declined.

According to the U.S. Census, the numbers of seniors facing food ...

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An Example in Volunteering

By Andy Lemmon *

Rev. Willie Petty and his wife, CeeCee, began volunteering with the Society of St. Andrew by gleaning fields and picking up excess produce at warehouses. This is where most volunteers start, and where many people find it easiest to be involved.

Eventually, the Pettys became field supervisors, leading others by demonstrating proper field safety and field etiquette. They would turn a group of new volunteers into a well-trained team that could make quick work of gleaning that field.

Although ...

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