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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank you Lincoln and Logan County!

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[October 22, 2008]  Thank you for being with us from the beginning and faithfully sharing a measure of your time, talents, and resources with the Harvest of Talents for World Hunger ministry that now celebrates its Silver Anniversary!!

RestaurantAt Monday night’s City Council meeting, Harvest Founder, Pat Snyder, and Harvest Chairperson, Carolyn Neal, graciously accepted a special Proclamation from City of Lincoln Mayor Elizabeth Davis-Kavelman that officially proclaimed the fourth Saturday of October 2008 as ‘Harvest Day’ in Lincoln. The Mayor commended the efforts of those involved with seeing the Harvest welcome its 25th anniversary.

Harvest of Talents began in 1984, when, inspired by a sermon given by Gene Shepherd at Lincoln Christian Church that challenged everyone to use their God-given talents and abilities to help others in the name of the Lord, Pat Snyder envisioned an ‘every person ministry’ that would involve people of all ages and ‘harvest’ their talents to raise funds for hunger relief. The church leadership fully endorsed the new venture, and the first Harvest raised $20,816.45! Since then, every penny raised has been disbursed by International Disaster Emergency Service, a 4-Star Charity (see www.ides.org and http://www.ides.org/hungerprograms.php), through missionaries to aid hunger victims in 19 countries (including the U.S.A.). Over $1,272,000 has been raised in the past 24 years in Lincoln alone, in addition to that raised through four other Harvests we have mentored in Illinois and Indiana.

The Harvest now encompasses more than offering the ‘work of our hands’ for sale on the fourth Saturday of October; it has grown into a year-round ministry that involves people from across the nation and even the world! The Harvest now recycles aluminum, saves coins, has special event license plates, authors an annual prayer calendar, and hosts ‘Spring for Tea in Lincoln’, ‘In the Garden’ garden walk, ‘Golf Play Day’, ‘Musical Offering for World Hunger’, ‘Harvest Run’ (in cooperation with the local YMCA), ‘Holiday Homes on Tour’, and ‘Wrapping up the Harvest’ cookie walk for Christmas. The 22-member Harvest Ministry Team works throughout the year to plan and coordinate all Harvest events.

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Thousands of people die each day from hunger-related causes. Through the Harvest, we have a way to turn our talents and resources into food for the hungry. We are better when we give. Lincoln and Logan County can be proud of the generosity and compassion of its talented people expressed in many ways, but certainly through the Harvest of Talents for World Hunger, a home-grown original idea that became an exciting and victorious ministry ~ victories in lives that are changed ~ both the life of the giver and that of the receiver.

On our Silver Anniversary, we highlight God’s faithfulness through the blessings of this ‘every person ministry’, recognizing that each person has a talent (1 Peter 4:10), that we are blessed to be a blessing, and that each Harvest is a success because people are fed physically and spiritually while bridges of hope are built in Jesus’ name. We want to be found faithful to Matthew 25:35, ‘For I was hungry, and you fed me.’

A special Celebration Sunday Worship Service will be held at the Chapel of Lincoln Christian College and Seminary on October 26, at 10 a.m., with guest speaker, Tom Gerdts, former preaching minister of Lincoln Christian Church for 20 years, and featuring special music, a ‘Parade of Flags’, and brief remarks from Rick Jett, Executive Director of International Disaster Emergency Service (a 4-star charity), Pat Snyder, Harvest Founder, and Carolyn Neal, Harvest Chairperson. The amount of funds raised so far this year will be announced with the presentation of a check to I.D.E.S. for hunger relief around the world. Funds raised through the remainder of the year will be sent to I.D.E.S. in late December.

Come to the 25th Anniversary Harvest this Saturday!

Come with your family and friends, as there’s something for everyone. The excitement is building as we look forward to celebrating the Harvest’s silver anniversary! The doors to the Family Room of Lincoln Christian Church at 204 N. McLean Street will open at 7 a.m. with fall décor, fresh-baked homemade cinnamon and pecan rolls, lots and lots of handcrafted items for sale, outside snack tents with tasty treats, and new this year: outside entertainment!

There is no admission fee, but Harvest will gratefully accept non-perishable food items for donation to the Lincoln/Logan County Food Pantry all day Saturday; shopping carts will be available at the entrances to place your donated items in ... let’s fill them to overflowing! We recycle aluminum all year long, and you’re welcome to bring your aluminum cans to Harvest as well. Every penny counts and goes a long way in places like Haiti, where $3/month will purchase a year’s supply of rice for one person ~ or in India, where $10 will fee one person a meal a day for one month ~ and in Zimbabwe where $4.50 will provide a meal for 16 kids.

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Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the music and entertainment outside while you choose from hot chocolate, cider, flavored coffees, tea, soft drinks, and bottled water to go with your muffin, scone, snack & trail mixes, walking taco, hot dog, caramel apple sundae, curly fries, gingerbread cookies, apple cake, caramel corn, popcorn balls, or smoked pork sandwich! And don’t miss the new CUPcakes ~ easy to enjoy in a complimentary mug. We even have ‘stroller snacks’ for our toddler guests.

Step inside to savor a bowl of H.O.T. and hearty vegetable soup made in the big black kettles outdoors. You’ll love the homemade bread and pie. (Yes, we have carry-outs if you need to get back to work or on the road.) Place a bid at the silent auction, get your face or hand painted with a cool design, stop by the calligraphy table for a personalized pressed flower bookmark, and sign the Harvest Guest Book fireside in the hospitality room where you can learn more about the Harvest and get your favorite Harvest logo wear. Get everyone together for a professional photo, suitable for framing or as your holiday card ~ processed at the photographer’s booth while you wait or shop. For your convenience and a small donation, you’re welcome to take advantage of the monitored coat check room to store your stroller, coat, or packages to save a trip to the car.

Commemorating the 25th anniversary are limited edition silver 3-D Harvest logo ornaments and a new cook book with over 700 of our favorite Harvest recipes. These make great gifts at $10 each. Be sure to bring your holiday gift list with you on Harvest Day, as you’ll find all kinds of neat items made and donated to the Harvest by talented people. We recommend you come early for best selection from the popular specialty areas that include refurbished vintage objects, fun things for your pet and gardens, beautiful Christmas decorations and silk floral arrangements, gifts from around the world sent by our missionaries, bracelets and accessories, needlework and quilted items, and gifts for babies, children, and sports fans. Now’s the time to stock up on homemade jellies, jams, salsa, pickles, candies & sweets, and all kinds of baked goods, including homemade pies, breads, rolls, cookies, muffins, and cakes!

The Harvest is also thrilled to announce the return of the fun ‘Harvest Run’, in cooperation with our local YMCA. Sign up with your friends and family to take part in the 5K Run/Walk that begins at 8:30. Participants will receive a water bottle and breakfast; the first 25 persons to sign up will also receive a t-shirt. Awards will be given for top male and top female in each age division.

We love the little Harvest Hands and have special activities planned inside for Kindergarten through 4th graders. Over 25 years, we have had the good fortune to see the third and fourth generation of Harvest families. Through the Harvest, we can help our children develop compassion for others and share their own talents and resources.

We’re fortunate again this year to receive a semi-truck load of freshly harvested potatoes from the Maynard family farm in South Dakota. 50# bags are available for $10, and a few 20# bags are $5 while supplies last. Many of us cannot use that much, but we can still buy them and have them delivered free to the local food pantry, Inner City Mission in Springfield, or Home Sweet Home Mission in Bloomington.


Always lots of fun and suspense is our live auction at 2:00. Mike Maske will donate his auctioneer services and the opening prayer will be given by T. Lunkim, missionary and minister from northeast India’s Kuki Tribe. We never know what to expect for sure till later in the week, but we have received word that there’ll be a hickory chest of drawers, an oak bookcase made from church pews, a little Illini rocking chair, a signed original cartoon by local artist Julie Larson, creator of ‘The Dinette Set’ syndicated cartoon series, fine needlework, a framing of A. Lincoln, and heirloom quality hand-stitched original design quilts and other treasures! We have received a quilt from Indonesia, illustrating how the Harvest has come full circle, since some quilters there learned the art of quilting from our own Harvest of Talents quilters. Another stunning quilt has been received that was made for the 25th Harvest in memory of a loved one.

Of course, the focus of this Harvest Day is at the heart of missions. As visitors enter the church’s family room, one of the first things they’ll see is a large 7’x8’ globe in front of 23 flags, representing some of the countries where we know missionaries. We trust the Lord of the Harvest to multiply our efforts and funds to help provide lots of rice and beans for His hungry children near and far. While we are all facing tough economic times, we have resources not found in most of the world’s poorest countries. Even in these times, we are grateful to have something to share. On behalf of those who will receive much needed food in Jesus’ name, thank you for your generosity. You are storing treasure in Heaven ~

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Neal, Harvest Chairperson, 737-9170
Lincoln Christian Church, 732-7618



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