Church Pantry Ideas – Food Planters

Nooma #23 – Corner

There is a ministry in our area called Five and Two food. They make it their business to make sure hungry people get fed. Dave, who works with this ministry, had a couple of ideas for our pantry that I thought I would pass on because it is so practical and others might benefit from this information.

The first idea that I thought was outstanding was for church members to dedicate a row in their personal garden to the church pantry. Pantries rarely have fresh produce because it is typically expensive to acquire and doesn’t have a long shelf life. This would take some coordination to make sure the pantry didn’t get overwhelmed with food it couldn’t do anything with. Encourage members to give some of this out that day to the struggling in their neighborhood or the homeless they drive by on a regular basis. We haven’t decided to do this one yet at Northwest but hopefully we will in the next year or so.

The second idea was to build a food planter on the church grounds. We are going to pursue this one. Our 20s & 30s class is going to help maintain this food plot and our church pantry will use this fresh produce to supplement the canned goods we already give out on a weekly basis.

What ideas have you seen work well for the food pantry where you worship?


Revenge and God

I am watching the Nooma video called Luggage. Bell is talking about forgiveness and revenge and it raised one really wordy and awkwardly written question for me. Do you think revenge is saying we don’t really trust God or do you think it can be more that we know he can take care of it but sometimes we think it just takes God too long to get around to it and we would like to see amends made a little more expediently?

Suggested Titles for Future Rob Bell Nooma Videos

Rob, how about using some of these titles for future Nooma videos? And how about more variety in the amazing skill you have of using the awkward pause to keep our attention?

Lint – Things that are right in the core of your being and are there all the time but you seldom realize it and it often takes someone else to point it out to you. Awkward pause to use in this video – take a few moments to pick at your belly button.

Thermos – A video about discernment – knowing which things to keep hot and which need to cool down a bit. Awkward pause to use in this video – stare at the thermos in awe.

Taffy – the dangers of sin. Awkward pause to use in this video – Randomly take bites of taffy and say Mmmmm that stuff tastes so good but is so bad for your well being.

Rabbi – a video where Bell reveals that he has actually converted to Judaism to really get a taste for what Jesus may have actually been like. Awkward pause to use in this video – pause to scratch your face as the new growth of your beard is driving you insane.

What suggestions would you throw out there?

Ben Witherington on Rob Bell

Somehow I missed these from nearly a year ago. I just read through them recently and found them incredibly helpful.

Witherington on Velvet Elvis

Review of Nooma Videos 1-5

Review of Nooma Videos 6-10

Review of Nooma Videos 11-15

I would have to agree with BWIII that his freshness and authenticity are refreshing but how much better it would be if he did a few more fact checks, checked his time lines better, and made better use of some of the better commentaries out there.

Review of Rob Bell’s Nooma Video #1 – Rain

In this 10 minute video Bell tells the story of going on a walk with his infant son. During their walk a furious storm comes out of no where and all of a sudden Bell experiences one of the deepest and most connected moments with his son he had ever experienced. He makes reference to the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27 and the metaphor of the storms we face in life. He talks about the perspective of a child in a storm, the perspective of the father who protects the child, and the tension that arises between living on the rock and going through a storm. Bell’s take home point is, If you want to be connected with God in an intimate way, brace yourself for the storm and don’t be afraid to cry out for help. I wish he would have stuck with that text a little more and drawn parallels back to the text in a few places. I thought this video did an excellent job of briefly and honestly describing our need for God and our need to honestly approach him and recognize him for who he is, our Father, and what he has done in our lives as our rock.

Using the old Ed McMahon star search rating scale I give this video four and a quarter stars. stars.jpg

There are several places online to preview this video. YouTube even has posted the video in its entirety but I think it is important to respect material that is under copywrite and would encourage those interested to purchase the video for use in a Bible class or small group as a discussion starter. To find the best price, click the picture at the top of the post.

What do You Know About Rob Bell?

I just started reading Velvet Elvis tonight. I have been hearing more and more about Rob Bell and wanted to find out for myself how good his material and writing is. I have been pleasantly surprised with how well this book has been written. He does a good job of integrating a large amount of information from a variety of fields of study – anthropology, sociology, theology, etc all the while stringing together his points with illustrations that pull it all together in a way that holds your attention.

People of all maturity levels will get something from it. It is conversational enough to draw in the unchurched and answer many questions that Christians and non-Christians have asked themselves. He has enough depth and well placed insights to give the mature Christian something to think about as well. This book seems like a guarded pendulum swing. Bell is pushing forth an understanding of Christianity and Christian movements that pushes the envelop of doctrine and some of the core tenets of our faith (the trinity, inspiration, virgin birth, etc) without having an air that “this is it.” He is humble enough to acknowledge that this is just one more piece of the theological discussion that needs to live on past this book and past all other books.

I am looking forward to reading more and also previewing some of his NOOMA videos. Do any of you have any opinions of his material or NOOMA videos? Have any of you used any of this material? What did you think? All input is welcome…as always!