Sunday, October 29, 2006

Out of the Pews, into the Pantries

Worshippers at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton walked out early two Sundays ago – at Pastor Pete Briscoe's insistence.

He ended all four worship services half an hour early, encouraging the 2,345 total attendees to go to a grocery store and bring back items for three local food pantries.

The gambit met with fishes-and-loaves success: Church members collected 24 tons of food, with a focus on the pantries' requests for canned goods, peanut butter, toilet paper and a few other items.

Mr. Briscoe said the exercise had a great practical benefit, but also helped the congregation focus on the needs of the poor. Pantry personnel were elated.

"It was more than astonishing. This was the biggest food drive we've ever had a church do," said Maureen Cummings, director of food and seasonal programs at Christian Community Action in Lewisville, which got more than 10 tons of relief items. "We were completely out of canned vegetables, and we were desperate. This truly was an answer."

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