CSC Reaches Out to Stretch Your Donations
CSC serves people in many ways that often don’t include financial aid. Many of our applicants don’t know how to access assistance that is available from government funded sources or other nonprofit agencies. They are stuck in a crisis. CSC analyzes their situation and directs them to any appropriate resource. Sometimes this takes weeks or months of personal direction to achieve success. If all other resources have been used, CSC steps in. Here is an example:
Terrance is a single dad who lives with his disabled father. They split the rent. A few months ago, Terrance got laid off from a job he enjoyed working at for 9 years, and at the same time his dad was hospitalized. When he came to us, they were about to be evicted. We needed him to get an income enough to pay his bills moving forward before we could help. We got more time from his landlord to hold the eviction off, and by his next appointment, Terrance had a fulltime job at Subway in walking distance from his house. Between that and his dad’s disability payment, it was enough for them to be sustainable. CSC discovered he would be eligible for county assistance and helped Terrance apply. Soon enough, the county approved his application and paid all but $500! We paid $500 and stopped the eviction.
Then we kept working with him. He was comfortable with the job and seemed to want to keep it, just happy to have a job and be stable again. We stressed to him that his income would not be enough to allow him to save, to prevent a future crisis. He said the threat of being homeless with his daughter and father was the worst thought, so he agreed to keep looking for work. We helped create a resume for him and had him apply for better jobs. A construction company hired him, and within a month he was working a full-time job with overtime and benefits. Terrance couldn’t believe it! Now we are working with him on ways to build his credit score. He has already saved $100.
by Trish Blomquist
Like vines in the garden, these are rambling thoughts of expressing the joys of gardening!
God, the very first gardener, planted his garden with love. Today we plant and tend the Community Garden with love.
God planted his garden with joy. We plant our community garden with joy in knowing that we are serving our friends and neighbors with food for their tables. We ask God to open our eyes to see more clearly the relationship of Gardener – Father’s Love for everyone.
Gardening is an important part of many people’s lives every year. Each year we come to appreciate the garden more, even though our joints and muscles might say otherwise. The word that keeps coming to me is solace. The feel of the soil in your hands and the beauty and resilience of the plants that populate the garden soothe the soul. Watching the blossoms and then the fruit develop and knowing that it will feed someone in need is a gift from God. Viewing a garden can fill you with peace and happiness – for me it brings joy in looking at the green vegetation and having the opportunity to “play “ in the dirt.
Christ the King’s Community Garden has been in existence for approximately eight years. The garden is not only a source of food for the community (our neighbors) but also as an opportunity for relationship building and connecting with our neighbors and fellow church participants. The original stated purpose for the garden was building relationships, connecting with neighbors, providing food for the Local Food Shelf. These goals have been met with joy and awe, especially when we harvest the produce and deliver it to the Local Food Shelf. Last year we donated over 500 lbs. and we are well on the way to that amount again this year. It is a wonderful to have neighbors walk by the garden as we are working and begin a conversation – outreach in the simplest of forms!
This year we have had several people from the neighborhood stop and ask if they could have a plot. We have, unfortunately, had to share that we don’t have any plots available (we explain that the produce we are growing goes to the Food Shelf) and that then leads to the conversation, how can we expand the garden so that our neighbors could have a plot!
In the Bible, there are many references to gardens or seeds:
Genesis 1-2: Story of Creation
Genesis 2: Adam and Eve in the garden
Psalm 8:16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden.
Matthew 13 Parable of the sower
Matthew 13:31 Sewing of the seed: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
Matthew 13:37 The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world.
Matthew 14 Feeding the 5,000 – This is similar to our contributing to the Local Food Shelf.
Seeds have been planted – use us in unexpected ways
This is your faith planted in you by God
Creating new seeds that will support generations to come…
Probably one of my favorite songs when I am looking for solace is “I Come to the Garden Alone”.
The Community Garden “buddies” enjoy time together and the work we do in the name of our Lord.
I’ll leave you with a few thoughts for the day!
Gardening is a work of heart!
Into the garden I go to lose my heart and find my soul
I love gardening from my head tomatoes
Lettuce Turnip The Beet
If you are interested in volunteering with Community Garden group, contact Trish at 651-283-3173 and we will get you involved!
by Pastor Sonja Hagander
Writer Peter Block says, “It is clear that relatedness, belonging, and community are keys to the future, and that real change takes time and creates uncertainty. We have just been seduced into believing that these are secondary to speed, having a great vision, and staying in charge.”
What a vital sentiment to remember amidst the call process at Christ the King Lutheran Church/Cristo Rey. For anyone paying attention to the call process, and especially most of us not serving on the call committee, we are living with uncertainty. We do not know the details and candidates and conversations and discernments that occur during the process. We may wonder about the tempo of the process, if there is a common vision and may be curious about who is in charge…assuming that speed, vision and power are important in the process.
Block reminds us of what we may know deep down: that humans crave being in relationship, to be truly known and find that we make a difference most powerfully when acting in community. Yes, there is risk in this. That may be why speed, vision and power tempt. However, so many of the tales and stories and remembrances you have shared with me over these many months are, deep down, about what you love and have loved about CtK/CR: fellowship, making an impact in the lives of others, being caught up into something larger than yourself because of the work of Christ…even the stories of “how it used to be” are not really about “numbers” or “programs” but the relationships and experiences of Jesus’ presence in community that are truly life-saving and life-giving.
In the midst of uncertainty (which is very normal) during a call process, I invite you to continue to delve into the community here at CtK/CR. It’s a joy to watch small group leaders preparing to welcome a new pastor and building relationships, to see the Tiger Team exploring with care and detail pathways to address ways to grow financial support for ministry, leaders exploring models of congregational care, gardeners planting and tending, children and youth VBSing (is that a word?) and camping, volunteers traveling to Appalachia, Cristo Rey hosting Cocina Latina, the Racial Justice Team making a difference in New Brighton, staff engaging in vibrant summer ministry activities, POP up choirs singing, and so much more!
Your Partner in Ministry,