We are blessed to open our 5th Farmer’s Market season this summer. A Farmer’s Market that we put out for our community. A Farmers Market that the church’s volunteers run from May to October.
So why a Farmer’s Market? Where is the discipleship in this? and how exactly is this a ministry?
New Covenant Presbyterian Church spent a lot of time trying to participate within the neighborhood. We wanted to be a part of what was going on. With approximately 15 community groups meeting in our building, we felt the disconnect. Many people will come to these gatherings, but nothing sponsored by the church.
We got to work to be a part of the community. Some events were short: a one day electronic recycling drive, a Mendelssohn concert and Ice Cream Social, a Dove Nominated Gospel Concert. We started some long term things too…we opened a free weekly playgroup.. We organized and oversaw an ongoing clothing exchange.
We looked at our resources, we looked at our strengths. We are place that is easy to gather at, we have a large parking lot. We are close to major highways.
How about a Farmer’s Market? Which we committed to do, as long as we remembered WHY we want to do this. To participate within the neighborhood.
To be a part of the community.
To be PRESENT. We committed to help to set up, to serve, to strive for a caring environment built on balance and needs (as opposed to being purely profit driven).
We will then sit at the church table and HELP people. Answer questions and LISTEN carefully to what is being said so we could get reacquainted with the community.
We did the work (See the upcoming post on HOW a Farmer’s Market) for details. By the Grand Opening close to 200 people came. Which was a huge number for a 50-60 person church.
By the middle of the summer we clarified our why into one phrase.
Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?
Because we want to be your neighbor, we want to be a community-building congregation, we want to be a community that supports communities.
The ministry of presence, of listening of neighboring is a part of who we are and what we do today! We look forward to our 5th rendition of this particular ministry of Farmers Market.