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Walking Our Faith: Be a bringer of hope this season

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Walking Our Faith

 

Vicky Holcomb is doing God’s work. In a time when many people have lost their jobs and don’t have enough to eat, Vicky is feeding them.

Last Sunday, as the sunset created shadows on the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort, I dropped off a spinach, mushroom and pumpkin lasagna at Father Dyer’s Methodist Church in Breckenridge for their weekly community dinner.

Every Sunday, Vicky and her volunteers provide a hot meal for up to 80 hard-working people, who may or may not have enough to make ends meet despite holding down jobs around town.



On alternating Sundays, volunteers from the churches of Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Father Dyer drop off warm casseroles to be served by other volunteers. Vicky also receives generous donations of food from Mountain Top Cookie Shop, Ridge Street Kitchen and Soupz On.

Vicky needs help because she’s been carrying much of this project on her shoulders for a long time. Yet the number of people she feeds each Sunday has more than doubled from 35 to 75.



Food insecurity is a real issue in our community. If you or your church or community group would like to help, please contact Vicky because she needs additional hot dishes and volunteers to serve them.

Father Dyer Church also runs a food pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they are always in need of canned goods.

On the other side of our county, Smart Bellies is feeding children and their families who are facing food insecurity.

“Smart Bellies strives to eliminate childhood hunger in Summit County by providing nutritious food for kids to enjoy every weekend,” co-founder Sarah Schmidt said. “Since the pandemic, Smart Bellies has opened its program to all students and families enrolled in Summit School District.”

The program is providing food for about 350 children from 155 families each week through its home delivery service, according to Schmidt. The program will include ingredients for a holiday meal on the third week of December.

Those who would like to donate can go to SmartBellies.org/holidays. A $25 donation will purchase ingredients for one family meal, Schmidt said.

In a generous community like Summit County, we strive to make sure no adult or child goes to bed hungry. If we each make a small contribution of time or money, we can wipe hunger out.

I have sent in my check to Smart Bellies, and I’m on a team to provide casseroles for Father Dyer’s Sunday dinner. I am sharing this because I wouldn’t ask you to do something that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. So I am asking you to help feed our neighbors in need.

Hunger comes in many forms, and during this season, many of us may be experiencing spiritual hunger. After our bodies have been fed, we may recognize a spiritual hunger, which I believe is our soul seeking God.

It’s a hunger I feel when I haven’t been to church in a few weeks, when I haven’t received the blessed sacrament of holy communion.

Spiritual hunger is my soul telling me to pursue a closer relationship with our creator and source of love. This means I turn off the TV and spend 30 minutes talking with God, reading a spiritual book and praying for others. Most of all, it means that I simply ask God to come closer, to come into my heart and live there and make a difference in my life.

During this second week of Advent, let’s make this a priority. Let’s spend a few minutes each day asking God to feed our spiritual hunger.

During the month of December, I’m reading one chapter a day from the Gospel of St. Matthew to remind myself why I believe. I invite you to join me.

Advent is about waiting with anticipation for the arrival of Jesus Christ, who came and walked among us, to teach us how to love one another better. The fact that we do this every year and have for centuries with the same sense of joy, speaks to not only the importance of Christ’s arrival but also his lasting impact on our lives.

Once we’ve been spiritually fed, let’s feed our community with God’s love and real food. What better way to live the spirit of this season than giving your time, food or money to feed your neighbor?

To find out what you can do to make sure no child or family goes hungry this Christmas, contact Vicky at Father Dyer’s at jmuvicki@gmail.com as well as the good people at Smart Bellies at SmartBellies.org/volunteer.

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com.

 

 


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