Posted by Athan Lindsay on June 3, 2014.
This past weekend, we held our first Come To The Table Learning Tour for the Piedmont region in Greensboro, NC. Hannah Henza, our VISTA Special Events Coordinator, did a wonderful job pulling a rich and meaningful agenda together.
In addition to garden visits, during the tour we enjoyed hearing from variety of speakers representing organizations actively working towards hunger relief. Participating organizations included First Christian Church of Greensboro, North Carolina Council of Churches, Church World Service, and North Carolina Community Garden Partners. The generous hospitality of First Christian Church of Greensboro as our host surpassed our expectations, especially with a delicious soup and salad lunch with ingredients from their garden!
A highlight of the day was meeting a special group of four dedicated women, Sisters Glenda Davis, Tina Hill, Sara Williams and Ora Sutton from Rhema Word Christian Center (who I now call the “Faithful Four”), who drove all the way from Kinston, NC to attend the tour. They traveled three hours and more than 300 miles to attend the Piedmont Learning Tour and promised to attending the upcoming tour in Conetoe in July.
They woke up on Saturday knowing and trusting that God was going to guide them in their quest to serve those in need. They are doers who are not waiting idly by for manna to fall from heaven. They model the type of leadership and courage that is required of all of us to ensure that the work of Come To The Table is grounded in small tangible acts in real communities, yet bold and audacious enough to offer a vision greater than what any individual can achieve on their own.
The four women joined us to seek out some knowledge, encouragement, and affirmation that they were on the right path in their commitment to “help some of these young mothers stretch their household budget at the end of the month by teaching them how to can, cook, and grow the fresh vegetables from the garden we just started.”
Getting the Word Out: The Western North Carolina Learning Tour
Following the success of our first learning tour in Greensboro, we are now looking forward to the the 2nd tour in the series, a learning tour in Fairview, NC scheduled for this coming Saturday June 7 from 9am to 1:30pm.
While we are excited, curious and looking forward to this weekend’s tour, we are also somewhat nervous. Will we have a good of a turnout? What will the mix of participants be like? Anyone who has been involved with planning and hosting a new event is familiar with this kind of worry.
As we wonder who will come or not come to this weekend’s Western North Carolina Learning Tour, my time with the Faithful Four has encouraged me to worry less about what I can’t control. Instead we will focus on getting the word out about this exciting opportunity and prepare to provide a dynamic experience to whosoever will come.
So please, be one of the whosoever will’s and join us this Saturday in Fairview to tour 3 model, faith-based community gardens. As always, take a few minutes to share news of this event with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Oh, and if you need a ride, I know four very special women in Kinston, NC who just might come and give you a lift!