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Harbingers of the harvest

East Iowa congregation hosts annual harvest supper and auction

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

corn harvestLOUISVILLE – As wagons of corn—not to mention truckloads of gravel and dirt—circle the United Church of Crawsfordsville, Iowa, surely the harvest is nearing.

Or at least the church’s eagerly-awaited harvest supper and auction is.

Held this year on Saturday, October 22, the annual event is a highlight of the community’s calendar and the congregation’s single largest fundraiser in support of its annual budget, 10 percent of which is directed to mission. The small congregation—a member of the Presbytery of East Iowa—is located in a town of less than 300 people.

“What is unique about the event is that people in the community that go to church in neighboring towns come over and donate for the auction,” said Donna Fletcher, who serves as church secretary. “There’s a man who donates dirt and gravel every year. Then people come and bid on things, because everybody knows that they’re donating to the church. We get a lot of donated grain and homemade products for the auction, like pies.”

A joint witness between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Methodist Church, the Crawfordsville Church is served by the Rev. Jason Collier, who also pastors the nearby Ainsworth Community Church. And while the Crawfordsville Church averages around 50 in Sunday worship attendance, it serves upwards of 300 guests at its annual harvest supper.

“The women of the church make creamed chicken and biscuits from scratch,” said Fletcher, who explained that the women receive a freewill offering to cover the cost of the meal, which also includes beef burgers, salads and pies. “To serve 300, they prepare 45 pounds of chicken legs and 50 pounds of chicken breast. That’s a lot of creamed chicken and biscuits.”

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Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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