Tuesday, June 23
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Presbytery of Central Nebraska
The region served by the Presbytery of Central Nebraska feeds the nation: feedlots produce beef, the rich topsoil of the mid-Plains now yields corn rather than tall grass, ethanol plants convert much of that corn into fuel, and Hastings College nourishes students hungry for knowledge and values. Amid such rich production, however, is invisible hunger: long lines form for commodity distribution through the USDA, and the demand on food pantries within the presbytery grows each year.
To provide good news to the poor and release families from the prison of hunger, the congregations of the presbytery are responding in numerous and inventive ways. First Church in Axtell (pop. 726) provides a noon meal each weekday during summer vacation, satisfying the hunger of more than two dozen children for food, friends, and a safe place.
First Church in Lexington (pop. 10,230) loaned Community Fitness Initiative an empty lot to create a children’s garden, where students from local schools can help grow fruits and vegetables they may not often get to enjoy: carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more. Fresh produce is more expensive than potato chips, and parents struggling to pay bills understandably tend to choose the cheaper item. The garden, now run by the local hospital, continues to welcome the children’s help and distributes its produce to low-income families.
The stark contrast between rich land and hungry hearts has stirred others as well. First Church in Holdrege (pop. 5,495) and Westminster United in Minden (pop. 2,923) are working to establish summer meal programs for children in their communities. And the churches in Beaver City (pop. 609) gave out $8,000 in aid in 2013 to those saddled with bills they couldn’t pay.
The Spirit of the Lord has anointed the 39 congregations in the Presbytery of Central Nebraska to preach and share the good news that, through the grace of Christ, every hunger can be satisfied.
—Caroline A. Vickery, teaching elder, First Presbyterian Church, Lexington
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Gracious God, by your Spirit you inspire our efforts to feed the hungry, preach the good news, and share your love. Your people, all your children, are hungry for food, for friends, for peace, and for the good news. As you have fed us, bless our efforts to feed each other, for we serve in your name. Amen.