Thursday, January 29, 2009
The end of bread
As we've recently revealed that we have decided to end our 6 year run of handing out bread in 2 city parks on Thursday afternoons...we have gotten a lot of questions about the why and how we came to this decision. This was a response to a good friend's question and I thought I'd post it in part here with some pictures from today, our last Thursday community bread share. It was a great day full of appreciation and blessing...
We inherited the bread line from New Hope Chruch around 5 years ago...until then it was kind of a loose association of friends that we participated in, before that, it was officially run by New Hope church. When it fell to us, we just kinda unquestioningly took it on and stewarded it...thinking it was a good thing for the community. And it has been.
Last year we considered dropping it as it really is the thing in our week that is least in line with our stated values of being relationship focused. As we took inventory we realized that not one of our long lasting relationships (like our kids club, girls on 9th St, etc)...which is what we feel strongly called to, have come from the bread line. As it is a bread line...people stand in line, we manage the line, they get what they want and leave, unless you have a ton of volunteers, there is not that personal connection.
We didn't drop it last year as we felt through prayer to stay the course. This year, we asked the question again and discerned together that it was time to give it up. Among other issues was that the bread donations from the stores have dramatically decreased due to the economic turn and we have been having trouble just servicing both parks.
Since managing a bread line or "food program" is not in our corporate values, it's not something we are invested in with our passion fueled by a strong sense of calling. We are called to focus on the kids and south 9th street and a freedom to be faithful to relationships in a more sufficient way.
This week, Aaron and Jimmy and I helped our handicapped, alcohol addicted, lonely friend James (who lives in utter filth) clean out his apartment and we got him a new bed and prayed with him and are in his life. That's what we want to do more of...to have more time to really be in people's lives. We found that keeping the bread truck going was working against that on Thursdays instead of supporting it.
Please do pray for us...we're still here doing what we do and in a way that is more in line with our calling.