Deacons’ Corner: Loaves, Fishes, and the Food Pantry

DEACONS blogI was thinking recently about the Bible stories of Jesus feeding the 5,000 people who had come to hear him preach and ask for healing. It was late in the day and the Disciples had implored Jesus to send the hungry people away. They knew that there was no food left even to feed themselves. Only a lad had a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish.

I remember being fascinated by that story as a child. 5,000 people, it is said, were fed by Jesus who prayed over a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish! Wow! That was amazing to me as a child. How did Jesus do that? Did he really do that? Can we believe he did that?

Interestingly, this story about feeding the 5,000 actually appears in all four (4) of the Gospels! That in itself is interesting since we know that not all of the same stories appear in all Gospels. Nevertheless, as far as we humans go, we will have to take it on “faith” that Jesus, as the Son of God, did somehow in some way take these limited means and turn them into a bounty for those people who had heard about him, had come to see him seeking his teachings and healing. Many of these same people later came to love, trust, and serve him.

Maybe our question should not be so much about “how” Jesus did this but “why” Jesus did this. That question we can answer more readily. Why? ­ Because Jesus loved them,­ each and every one of them. Why? ­ Because Jesus was full of compassion for them and knew they were hungry. That is why he refused to send them away. Why? Because Jesus knew that it was in his power to feed them.

We here at the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown have the same opportunity to do what Jesus did and we are doing it. We help feed the hungry. YET, we are losing out on an opportunity to be as effective as we could actually be! What do I mean by that? Well, some time ago a gracious servant of the Lord provided in their Estate Plan for a GRANT of money to our church Food Pantry. It was a substantial gift – a large gift of money to be used to feed the hungry for 10 years. But, there was one stipulation – this gift was to be used each year in an amount up to $10,000 as “matching funds” on a dollar for dollar basis – to donations made by members and friends of the congregation to the Food Pantry in that same year. So, each year the full $10,000 gift monies could be used only IF other donors also gave a total of $10,000.

This year, the Deacons’ Food Pantry has received donations from our members and friends totaling $7000. We are grateful for the generosity of those who made these gifts. This $7,000 will be matched with $7,000 from the GRANT. But we still need help to reach our goal. As of now, if no additional gifts are received by year end, there would be a deficit in our Food Pantry budget of $6,000 (i.e. $3,000 not received from the congregation and $3,000 not received from the “matching” GRANT). Pastor Chip further explained that these matching funds can only match donations given by individuals ­ not by organizations. So that means that, although we have gotten donations from several corporations and the Yorktown Lions Club, these funds will not be matched” with the GRANT monies.

Won’t you pray and think about making a gift to the Food Pantry this year to help us reach our goal of $10,000? This will enable us to truly experience the miracle of the multiplication of resources to help feed our many Food Pantry clients. Jesus performed miracles! It’s still amazing to think about that and wonder just how he did that. We have an opportunity to make miracles too. With God’s reassuring presence in our lives and our responses we can make the most out of the resources we do have available to us. It’s a most amazing thing to step out in faith and see what happens!

Your gifts can be made so easily and in so many ways. Every little bit helps and we will keep you informed as to how we are doing. You can place checks in the Offering plate on Sundays, or go online to make your gift. Just mark your gift for the “Food Pantry” on the memo line of your check, or use the line item for Food Pantry when you use the online option. We thank you for all of your caring and support. God Bless you.

~Carol Thorne­-Gaetani for the Deacons