We are a church of rich heritage and warm hospitality which follows Christ into worship shares with Christ in fellowship and serves Christ both within and beyond our doors
Our Core Values are faith in God and Jesus Christ love for neighbors both near and far and a burning desire to bring hope, wholeness and joy to all peoples in all stations of life
From the Pastor's Desk. . .
From the Pastor’s Desk
Rev. Dr. Kevin Frederick
FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
Community Garden Update –
Four of our members have attended workshops on community gardens offered by NC State’s Agricultural Extension Department and have learned many practical ideas and strategies. In addition, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, has had a Community Garden program for six years, and their model of operation is viewed as one of the best in the state run by a community of faith. Grace Covenant’s Garden director is now serving as an advisor to our committee as we get things going. Anyone who has ever raised a garden knows that you don’t just plant it and return to the garden weeks later to harvest the vegetables. Gardens take a regular amount of maintenance and weed control, and from start to finish, gardens are labor intensive. We are doing all the ground work now to organize ourselves for a fall 2013 planting of greens and root crops and will have a three season working garden going later this year. Our plan is to start small and to expand as we gain the labor and the experience to make the program work for us. Eventually we want to have this garden feed folks through our pantry and offer a percentage of our crops to our own older church members who are no longer able to make their own gardens.
We need lots of labor, offered by volunteers; but first we need one member of the church who would like to take this on as a personal ministry for the next two years; someone who knows gardening and can serve as the coordinator of the garden operations. The coordinator would lead a group of volunteers in the planning, operation of the garden and in the distribution of food; and this would be viewed as the primary focus of ministry for this individual. The coordinator will not do all the work but will organize the volunteers and direct the work on the garden. A retired gardener with the skills of organizing is what we are looking for.
We will draw from church members, high school students needing service hours, and eventually from other Valdese citizens to provide the labor as this ministry grows. Already Sam Frederick has stepped forward to offer his services in his pursuit of an Eagle Scout project coordinating the work of other Boy Scouts, and he wants to focus on fundraising for the seed and fertilizer, production of the garden in its first months of operation and developing a system of distribution of the produce. The Grace Covenant Garden in Asheville has developed a system of volunteers who sign up to work the garden and, for a fee of twenty dollars a year, share the produce in exchange for a set number of hours worked in the garden each month. That allows for a steady labor base to work with and has worked well for them.
A survey has been created and will go out to our homebound members and to the clients who are served by the church pantry program to find out what kinds of crops they would like to see grown for use. Some of our members are organizing food preparation classes and will offer the classes through the pantry program. In a county where, according to state labor statistics, we still have ten percent unemployment and another seventeen percent are hard working but underemployed and living beneath the poverty level, the need to feed Christ (Matthew 25: 35) by feeding our neighbors has demanded the attention of our church for years. By adding a garden that serves our older members and the needy in this community, we are growing a faithful and loving response. I invite each of you to join the committee and me in prayer for this ministry as it develops.
With love we serve together,