Senior Warden Tom Keyse and I spent a couple of hours today with The Rev'd Lynne Butler, CEO and Executive Director of Metro Caring, Denver's leading frontline hunger prevention organization. I was heartened by everything I saw. This is the kind of place that offers real hope to our neighbors in need.
- Healthful Foods Access
- Nutrition and Gardening Education
- Seeds for Success Job Training
- Self Sufficiency Counseling
- Financial Literacy Education
- Identification Document Assistance
- Metro Caring Market
- Legislative Action
- Benefits Enrollment Assistance
Saint John’s Cathedral has members who serve on the board or volunteer in one or more programs. I saw some of those members who were exercising faithful stewardship of their time by sitting with guests of Metro Caring, engaging in conversation, listening, and demonstrating genuine care. It was as if I were witnessing a living tableau of the scene described in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt. 25:31-36)
During lunch after our tour, Lynne told us that one out of four children in this state faces hunger. She also told me that a person enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Colorado receives $126 per month in food stamps. That’s far less than I would have imagined. She then told me about a challenge that was given to Denver religious leaders in June. Each of us is asked to personally contribute $126 to Metro Caring and then to ask 126 more people to contribute the same amount. If even one of us did that, it would raise $16,000. The funds raised in this campaign will be used by Metro Caring to fight hunger in the following ways:
- Reduce local food waste to ensure all have enough
- End food deserts by going mobile
- End hunger at its root through Seeds for Success, Metro Caring’s signature employment training program for food-industry jobs.
In several ways, it is an awkward time to be doing this because of the start up of fall stewardship campaigns among my friends around the country. However, inasmuch as I am so impressed with the good work being done through Metro Caring, I’m going to make my contribution. If you are moved to do likewise with a gift over and above what you plan to give to your faith community, please do so. This is a personal suggestion and not a Cathedral campaign. Contributions can be made online or by mailing a check to:
P.O. Box 300459
Denver, CO 80203
Everything I saw today convinces me that Metro Caring will exercise faithful stewardship over our gifts, hope will be restored, and lives will be transformed.
I’ll see you in Church!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
Saint John's Cathedral