The Local Care team at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown is hard at work this week renovating part of the basement at Zion EC Church on the south side into a neighborhood food bank. One of the coolest things about this project from my perspective is that Zion EC is only a few feet away from Roosevelt Community School and the pantry is being established with overall goal of serving Roosevelt families in need. Missiologists talk a good deal, and for good reason, about focusing on “local and particular” concerns in the communities where mission-minded congregations are rooted. I think this is a great example of churches working in partnership for the common good and the common blessing of neighbors. Endless credit goes to all the folks who are working and have worked to make this happen. I’ve been blessed to watch this process unfold, and yesterday, I was blessed to join the team for a few hours on-site. Our volunteer foreman, Charley, let me and my friend Joe knock some walls down to open up an area that will serve as a lobby and intake center, and it was physically and spiritually nourishing experience.
This entire project is being born from relationships the Local Care team volunteers have made with leaders at ZEEC and Roosevelt, and from discerning, from diverse places, a common vision. It didn’t start as a great idea hatched by a few mission leaders, and I’ve only been involved to the extent that I’m eager to support it however possible based on the hard, faithful work everyone has done. As a “professional” ministry leader, there’s nothing more rewarding than supporting solid visions you had nothing to do with and didn’t start. I’m so grateful for what’s happening.
Even though Charley’s right that “it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit,” the Local Care team, the Roosevelt folks, and the leaders at ZEEC deserve profound and sincere thanks.