Sunday, August 20, 2006

God's Love in Action: Society of St. Andrew's Gleaning Network

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all your undertakings. (Deuteronomy 24:19)
The Society of St. Andrew has strong ties to the United Methodist Church, but the volunteer operation it runs is ecumenical. What is the operation? Gleaning farmed fields after the harvest to collect the food missed by the harvesters and coordinate its delivery to the hungry. They coordinate gleaning operations all over the U.S. in the lower 48 contiguous states and mostly need plenty of willing hands at certain times of year.

In this series I am basically wrestling with these questions:
  • How do I help serve God's world in a larger way?
  • Can I help the needy without leaving my job and adding my own family to the number of the needy?
  • How do I help care for other peoples' families without abandoning my own family?
  • Is there a "gateway" ministry for those who, like me, want to serve more, but have not yet quite found our calling to where we belong full-time?
Society of St. Andrews came to my attention year before last in a write-up in the Houston Chronicle and found their way into my scrapbook of ministries in which I would like to participate. They have piqued my interest in whether a satellite group can be started a little closer to where I live in Texas, or whether something similar could be arranged with peoples' backyard fruit trees which are often forgotten or neglected. Whether or not the Society of St. Andrews ever makes inroads into the Greater Houston Area where I live, they're a ministry worthy of mention for those looking for ways to serve.


Janet said...

Backyard fruit trees! What an innovative idea!

revabi said...

A friend of mine is the gleaner coordinator in North Alabama. They made it possible for us to get fresh fruits and vegtables for the people we served at the foodbank the church had.