By Lindsay Colwell, Director of Youth & Family Ministry

I have been spending a lot of time lately in the children’s bible because I have been having to come up with new ways to engage the youngest among us in the word of God. As I look forward to a new recording for our online children’s message that we do on our St. John’s Facebook page I have been reading a passage from the Gospel of John in chapter 15. In this passage Jesus calls himself the “true vine.” John 15:9-10 reads, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” What sort of commandments could Jesus be talking about? The law, the 10 Commandments? Jesus tells us exactly what he wants from us in 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

This commandment to love one another, to care for our neighbor, is at the heart of what we teach and do at St. John’s. One of the newest ways that we are doing this at St. John’s is through our little free pantry. This is a blessing that was bestowed upon us by Eagle Scout, Luke Olson, this past fall. This pantry is open to anyone in the community who has a need. We stock it with pantry staples like flour and cooking oil, meal kits, and snacks. During the month of April our 7th and 8th grade students have met in small groups to do service projects around the property. Restocking our pantry was one of those projects and it is now fully stocked. Community members are welcome to donate non-perishable food items and toiletry items to the pantry, as well as taking something as it is needed. It is also stocked with several items that are easy for young people to make as well that often only require a microwave.

As we have seen in this community time and again, when there is a crisis or tragedy the people of this community come together to help each other. The free little pantry is just one small way that our faith community can be of outward service to others. As the Gospel of John tells us this is exactly Jesus’ commandment for us, that we love one another as he has loved us. May we continue to provide for all in our community as the way we show the love of Christ. Amen.