Christ Episcopal Church || 205 N. Seventh St. || Stroudsburg, PA 18360 || Office Tel: (570) 421-7481

Icon of the Black Church Food Security Network

The Black Church Farm Network

There has been for this past Black History Month a 4-week, Tuesday night, Zoom session run by the Pastor Heber Brown III. A verbally colorful man who speaks with much passion about food and land in the Black community. He can talk and talk and then will say this as a reflection of his self-knowledge:

He says, “I’m a Baptist preacher, I can talk all night and then wash your feet before you go.” He keeps me listening with that kind of energy and fun and love.

What these four weeks have done for me is to dig in deeper to the ideas he preaches against food charity and for food justice and sovereignty. I believe this too. I have wanted someone to fire me up to pursue these actions because if you know like Heber Brown knows about the power of the land to be the real source of freedom, and the use of that land to grow food, then you know why growing food is one of the holiest experiences in life. (My thought and words, not his.)

One of the four weeks of this Zoom call to being was devoted to a group in Jacksonville, FL. This group has (forgive me here, the numbers escape me) but around 150 churches in a relatively small area. These churches all have some land and that land is cultivated and the people of that area eat well. And they work together, they share, they celebrate what God gave us.

I encourage you to look up the work of Pastor Brown. You’ll find it here.

And so while this is just a thumbnail sketch of four weeks of talks about the Black Farmers Association and the unequal distribution of resources by our USDA. And about the underlying privilege of food pantries and food banks that ultimately support the underlying causes of food insecurity, I am fired up to be a part of the food ministry of Christ Episcopal Church.

We have no land but we are a resourceful and ingenious congregation. We don’t all have access to the basic foods we need. But we are a loving body of Christ. As Jesus provides, we aid that transmission of love.

If you have not yet donated your time, talents or money to the Food Pantry, I urge you to do so. We do feed the hungry in so many ways.

Deborah Emin