Awareness and Funds for Stop Hunger Now
Photo right: Lauren Wallace accepts a rice meal in her hands from Rev. Joey Shelton.
Photo bottom right: Delphine Swanson participates as lead of the conference's one million meals goal for Stop Hunger Now.
As guests arrived at Galloway UMC for the Turn the Tables on Hunger Banquet given November 19, they received a first, middle or lowest class ticket informing them of their place in our world economy. Galloway hosted this event to raise funds for the Stop Hunger Now packing event to be held January 14 at Central UMC in Jackson, but also to help those in attendance feel and see the unbalanced distribution of wealth in today's world.
First class participants (photo right) were seated in a fine dining area and served a meal of highest standards. The middle class were served one pot of rice and one pot of beans with a few bowls and plastic utensils. Half of the group found themselves in third class seated on the floor or on a few park benches receiving a large pot of rice only, no spoons, bowls, or water. As the "surprise of the night" unfolded, the room filled with an array of emotion ranging from guilt to sharing and embarrassment to frustration.
Guests were introduced to "character cards" of individuals throughout the world and how hunger and lack or resources shaped their life's story. A dramatic reading from those present in the audience helped all to receive a better view of "the big picture." It's one thing to talk about hunger and poverty; it's another thing to be seated at the fine linen draped table with flowers and candlelight, being served a gourmet meal while your friend and neighbor sits nearby on the floor sharing rice hand to hand. Eyes were opened by young and old alike!
As the evening progressed participants heard from Stop Hunger Now representative, Pat Ware, about the ways the organization is making a difference worldwide. The evening ended with all participants feasting on the same meal first class had received earlier -- a perfect living example of grace and God's economy -- which has no scarcity. Bishop Swanson closed out the evening with a message of encouragement as we continue to partner together in our Core Values of love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship.
Galloway UMC will share their resources with other congregations who would like to offer a similar event. Call 601-353-9691.