As farmers brought in their harvest around Mitchell county, something different than usual happened.

People showed up around lunch time with 400 sack lunches that contained a ham sandwich, homemade cookies, water, chips, and applesauce and handed them out to farmers in the field.

This was Cross Road’s God’s Work. Our Hands. Project.  They decided to postpone it until harvest time in October so they could thank and feed the farmers in the field.

The food for the 400 lunches was all donated.  The bags also contained a letter from the parish that included our contact information, worship times, and a prayer for their safety and well wishes for a bountiful harvest. (And it was a bountiful harvest – record breaking bushels per acre this year!)

“Our ministry volunteers were also overwhelmed with the tangible act of feeding people,” says diaconal minister, Elaine Werges.   “During the packing time, many references were made that day to the gospel lesson of how Jesus fed the 5000/4000 and the Last Supper.”

The lunches were distributed at five local co-ops and elevators while farmers were unloading soybeans and corn.  Some members found farmers harvesting in the fields. Lunches were given out for everyone in the crews.

One of the young men who received a lunch was near tears when he discovered that a church cared about him and the work that he does.

Another farmer asked questions about the congregations and then shared that he and his family have been looking for a church where they could belong and do things like this.

“It was a powerful witness and ministry to our communities, to our neighbors, and to lift up the vocation of agriculture…in an agricultural based community the work that is done sometimes is minimized and not thought of in the context of feeding the world,” observed Elayne Werges.

“This was a great way to lift up the important work that they do and connect it to a larger world.”

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.




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