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On the first Saturday in December, 341 families received food at the Christ Episcopal Food Pantry.It may sound like we repeat this too often, but when we restarted the Food Pantry with Debby Campbell and Peggy Walck in charge, we were serving 35 families. This exponential growth is not a surprise but it is a challenge.And everywhere now it is a challenge for so many people to find food for their families. Christ Church is blessed to have had the volunteer numbers grow along with the need for them as well. Here we are, too, in Advent. We wait Christ’s arrival. The opening of doors and hearts to those in need is precisely what Christ asks us to do. Out of need, a real community has grown. This is where Communion happens too. This is where love matters along with music and dancing, because what is church without that too. In these graced moments during Advent, giving and receiving are holy acts. The sharing of time and the actual passing of the peace. It is a Eucharist without liturgy. But I do believe the Gospel message is present in everyone’s heart and in the work and concern that food, without which there is no life, can be shared and provided. If you have not yet witnessed the Food Pantry at work, please join us for the next Saturday (12/16) we distribute food. If you are not able to attend or don’t feel physically capable of the work, please consider donating to the Food Pantry. There are so many ways to do that. The current fundraising project, Paint the Town Red, has 100 red bows to sell that can be purchased with or without an adding of a name in memory or in honor of. I have found working for the Food Pantry to be a constant renewal of my Baptismal Vows. But more than that it is how I see us furthering our commitment to making peace in this world. Here in the Fellowship Hall, peace lives and love grows.Deborah Emin 
The Food Pantry at Christ Episcopal Church has much to be thankful for. Not only has God granted us faithful leaders and generous volunteers, but the Food Pantry has given us partners all over Stroudsburg and beyond. It may be a time of thankfulness but it is also a time of great need. We as a church are responding to that need. We are forming networks of community that ensure, as Fr Bruce often says, “God will provide.”  We saw it this past food distribution Saturday. The anticipated numbers for that day were 300 families. Even that number is staggering. But just as in Matthew when Jesus turned 5 loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5000, Christ Church fed 431 families because God is good. Also because Christ Church has many new partners in this food ministry. There were the Boy Scouts, for example, who delivered well over a ton of food for our ministry. A flatbed truck is required to make such a delivery. There were all the volunteers who put together boxes, filled boxes, filled bags with fresh fruits and vegetables. This was a cornucopia moment for all. Abundance mixed with love. And it does not end. It has filled us all. On Monday, I made a pick up of the donation we weekly receive from Earthlight Natural Food. They had created a food drive for our Food Pantry. Before I went to Earthlight, I was down in Forks, having lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant. I go there often. The owner asked me where I as going to from there. I told her I was going to pick up this donation of food. I told her of the work this amazing food pantry does. She is a very religious woman. She is Lebanese and a Christian. She told me that when I come back next Monday she’ll have baskets for me to take to the food pantry. All of us are touched by this food ministry. It infuses our church with what Jesus always asks of us—to love one another. God does provide. Amen.Author: Deborah Emin 
October Quarterly Meeting We gathered on October 18 for the Food Pantry’s Quarterly Meeting. While it has been a couple of weeks since that meeting, the excitement about what we are accomplishing as a community has stayed with me. The meeting’s agenda was plotted out. We even had a timekeeper to assure we only met for the two hours. Surprise, surprise, we only went over the limit by 10 minutes. Why am I still so enthusiastic? Let me share the reasons here: We welcomed many new members to the table who want to help us with the food pantry’s mission. The testimonials given in support of the work the pantry is doing were inspiring; mentioning of how their spirits were lifted up by the time and effort they gave to the pantry. The most awesome words were how the time was filled with joy and laughter. As an all-volunteer organization, the food pantry is reliant on folks wanting to show up. This past Saturday, 24 people showed up to help. And the pantry served more people than they ever had before. Imagine our Fellowship Hall, the movable shelves filled with non-perishable items and the tables filled with fruits and vegetables. Imagine people shopping for their family’s needs amidst the joy and laughter of a well run but fun ministry that does as Christ asks of us. It is with that thought of the joyful noise of doing the Lord’s work on these Saturdays (and many other days as well), that the reports at the Quarterly Meeting of what is to come are also giving me the good feelings. The Holiday Season is upon us. The Paint the Town Red campaign is in full swing. I hope you have already purchased your bow. We’d like volunteers on 11/19 to help remove the Halloween decorations and replace them with the big red bows around Courthouse Square and onto Main Street. Our upcoming Thanksgiving distribution, 11/18, will also require many volunteers as we hand out the food for the many, many families who rely on us to make their holidays joyous. We also discussed the holiday events planned for December. Please stay tuned for all that forthcoming information.Author: Deborah Emin 
Hello, I am Wil !!!!! Hi, I’m Wil. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my involvement in and dreams for the food pantry at Christ Episcopal Church, Stroudsburg, Pa.Probably like most of you, for Thanksgiving I always said that I would like to help at a soup kitchen, and even take family members to help, especially the younger ones. But year after year I never did.A little over a year ago, we moved back to Pennsylvania and were in search of a church.  We were warmly received at Christ Episcopal and made it our home. I was curious about the food pantry, but didn’t act on it until Fr. Bruce, our pastor, asked me to go because of a language barrier; newer clients were attending who spoke only Spanish. I went and quickly found myself immersed in God’s grace as I assisted with the language and restocking shelves. Since then, the Latino/a population has exploded, many of whom only speak Spanish. I felt that God was calling me to do more. Under the leadership of Debby Campbell, a sense of common purpose, a community, is flourishing.  In my capacity, I taught a Spanish lesson on common phrases related to the food pantry to a group of volunteers. I began to assist more Spanish speakers to the point that they feel comfortable sharing their stories with me.  I work closely with a group of volunteers in planning and bringing to fruition events for families, and I assist as well meeting individual needs.As we hear in the Bible in both Matthew 9:37, Luke 10:2, “the need is great, and the laborers are few.”  It is my dream that the food pantry continues to grow with our community partners, that we continually strive to make our clients feel like family, and mostly, that any services these folks need can be met by us and through us. And lastly, we dream of them seeing us as Christ-like, that God’s grace fill them with the spirit to honor him in word and deed, paying forward what they have received.I believe that all who enter the food pantry leave with an uplifted spirit made possible by God’s grace.  Join us and you too will want to come back and do more!Author: Wil Colon
All members of the CEC parish, all FoodPantry Volunteers, all those affiliated with the CEC food pantry are cordiallyinvited to the Quarterly Meeting on October 28 from 10am to 12pmThis quarterly meeting is intended tointroduce all partners in this food ministry to each other and to encouragemore participation in the vital work the Food Pantry does. It is also aninformational assembly where the plans, finances and goals can be given apublic voice.Please familiarize yourself with the agenda.There is much work to do during those two hours. Everyone’s participation isappreciated. Author: Deborah Emin  Agenda Items forQuarterly Meeting Oct.28th (10am-12pm) -Opening Prayer (1min)-Testimony Time (10mins)-Upcoming ministries  (20mins)Thanksgiving Christmas -New Partnerships & Thanks for ContinuedPartnerships (5-8mins)-Goals for 2024 (30mins)-Gala Team (5mins)-Financial Update (10Mins)-CEC Ministry Budget Request (5mins)-Questions, Concerns or Needs of theCommunity (15mins) Announcements: (10mins)-CEC Twelfth Night PartyFriday, Jan.5th  -Paint-The-Town-Red  -Closing Prayer (1min)
Paint the Town RedThere is a new project beginning this November 19 when beautiful red ribbons will begin to appear tied to the lamp posts around Court House Square in Stroudsburg. Then, as the sales increase the bows will appear on Main Street. Two hundred bows are for sale. The receipts will benefit CEC’s food pantry and others so that if we sell them all, we will raise between $1000 and $1400 for the Food Pantry and the others will receive a similar amount. This project has many partners to help it along, including the members of our parish. In terms of the physical work involved to make this happen, to help raise money for the Food Pantry at Christ Episcopal Church, we require your participation in taking down the corn stalks before the bows can be put up. Wilson Colon will be inscribing the bows for those who want to add a memorial to a loved one. Those bows will cost $35. For those who want to add to the festive look while also supporting the Food Pantry, the cost is $25. The ribbons themselves come from The Potting Shed. Please purchase a ribbon or two and remember that with this minimal purchase you’ll be adding to the beautiful lights and cheer of our community during the holiday while also helping to do what Christ has called us to do. With the example of the 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread, as Fr. Bruce says about this project. “Through the power of community belief in hope and love in God, we can bring a gift to multiple ministries and the families they serve.” With good cheer and a generous heart, Christ Episcopal Church is once again reaching outside its doors and into the community to spread Christ’s message. Please add your voice to this ministry.By: Deborah Emin 

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