Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Empty Bowls Dinner on Friday, October 16

Friday evening, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Burnsville is having an Empty Bowls dinner to benefit the Reconciliation House. 5:30 to 7:30 Stop in any time and support this cause to help feed the hungry here and around the world.

The premise is this:
Local potters donate bowls. A group (in this case, the mission committee of the church) makes a simple soup supper. People are invited to come, buy a bowl to fill with food and eat communally. Then, each person who has donated money to eat gets to keep their bowl to take home as a reminder of how many empty bowls there are in the world. All proceeds are used to fight hunger.

This summer, the Vacation Bible School I coordinated
(and wrote the curriculum for) helped to make some of the bowls for this meal. The emphasis was to learn to "Step Up to the Plate" and serve others as Jesus' example teaches.

While the Empty Bowls grass-roots movement (begun by Burnsville's own Lisa Blackburn & John Hartom in 1990) is not necessarily a religious one, our event is sparked by our belief in Jesus' charge to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

In that light, Rolf Holmquist (a church member on the planning committee for this event) asked me to write a poem for Friday's meal. So I did, and was able to present it to John on Sunday.

Empty (vb)

Not empty bowls
like the unbreakable kind stacked inside
each other at the department store.
Not empty bowls
like the ones in the queued
refugees’ outstretched hands.
Not empty bowls
like the pieces just-for-pretty
in the potter’s display case.

But Empty Bowls
as invitation:
Come, join us for this meal.
Empty Bowls
as action:
Eat this food. Clean your plate. Feed another.
Empty Bowls
as consciousness:
Do this in remembrance of Me.

If you live in Asheville, consider attending the MANNA Food Bank's 8th Annual Empty Bowls lunch from 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM at the Biltmore DoubleTree Inn. (Also on the 16th.) For $20 your ticket will gain you a great meal, and your choice of a handmade bowl from over 1,000 pieces donated and created for this event. There will also be a “Collector’s Corner” of pieces donated from some of the finest area potters.

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