A weekly Rector’s Notes article, February 3, 2020
How food, community, & support create the Kingdom of God
The mission of Radical Love is unique in our community, and is truly unique among feeding programs in general. In an effort to make a real, tangible impact on the lives of those who are being fed, beyond the reality of the need to be physically fed by food, Radical Love stands apart through its mission in serving only foods that have a high nutritional value and low-risk of running afoul of various allergens and intolerance experienced by many.
This focus and discipline in serving foods that not only feed one’s hunger, but fuel one’s body without wasted bloat, is truly an expression of Radical Love.
It is easy to simply serve food, to serve whatever one can get their hands on. It takes a different intention to menu plan and create a feeding program that is as concerned with the long-term health of its recipients as much as it is concerned with insuring those in our community can get a hot, home-cooked meal, twice a week, every week (even on Christmas Day!).
When we brought the Wednesday feeding program back home to St. Stephen’s, we did so in order to expand the capability of hospitality for the weekly dinner offering that comes out of our kitchen. This has seen an expansion in what we can offer, with the growth of the Radical Love Closet, which has provided: warm coats, weather-resistant and weather-proof coats, socks, shoes, sleeping bags, tarps, and even a couple of tents.
We engage in this work, we support Radical Love, because this program is in the business of Kingdom building.
The Kingdom of God can and must be built up around us through our living into the call that Christ has left for us. It’s perhaps become cliche at this point, but the Gospel of Matthew (25:35-40) makes it pretty clear what the expectation that Christ has for us in our most basic work as followers: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
This work does not happen without the support of our community, here at St. Stephen’s. Through your donations and volunteering, this vital ministry for our community is able to continue and grow.
This is why we’re having a fundraiser event on Valentine’s Day, February 14. This is an opportunity to celebrate Radical Love as much as it is an opportunity to continue supporting the work it does. I hope that you will join me for this celebration, and show how our community continues to support this vital ministry.