By Joe Phillips
SODDY-DAISY, Tenn. (Aug. 5, 2015) -- It all starts with a phone call. Sounds so simple. Something many of us do many times a day, speak on the phone. That's all it takes to get the ball rolling on doing a "crop drop" at your church.
You just call the Society of St. Andrew and talk to the great folks there, and they will lead you through the process of organizing a drop. We at Daisy United Methodist Church did a green bean drop on June 25. Two of us drove up to Crossville, Tenn., on June 24 and went to the Hughes Farm processing plant to pick up the beans. You have to pick them up the day before and in the afternoon.
The gas used for my truck was the only expense that our church occurred for this outreach opportunity. Once we got there and waited our turn, it took about 20 minutes to fill up the bed of my Ford Ranger. Be warned: We had to wait two hours, but we also need to remember that these beans were free.
As we waited, the foreman of the plant came by to speak with us. He recognized we were there to take out the trash. What? That’s what they call the vegetables that aren't perfect enough for commercial use: trash. So we took about 800 pounds of trash and went on our way.
The next day at our church was a great day of fellowship. As volunteers cleaned and bagged the beans -- using bags provided by the Society of St. Andrew -- we laughed, talked and got to know one another better. We had elderly ladies bagging, my four-year-old helping to clean, a seven-year-old runner, and all ages in between as part of the crew.
We started around 8 in the morning, and a group of 16 cleaned and bagged 60 bags of beans. We loaded up the truck around 1:45 pm and took off for the Bethlehem Center in South Chattanooga.
We had arranged this drop with "The Beth" earlier in the month. They had people waiting on us. It took three minutes to give away the beans. It was a huge blessing for Daisy to do this event.
The next day at Sunday worship, the 16 were able to share with others what had taken place, and now they have a bond amongst them. The coolest thing that was said about it? “Hey preacher, the next time we do this let’s try ..." They are already talking about the next time. Pretty cool indeed.
For our 60-member church, this event provided an outreach opportunity that meets 100 hours of the 600 we need for this year’s Holston Conference missions initiative of "$10 and 10 hours" for children in poverty.
Make the call.
The Rev. Joe Phillips is pastor at Daisy United Methodist Church in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
Apply for a Holston ministry grant serving children in poverty. Next application deadline is Aug. 15.