By Jeff Walton, Restoration Anglican Church, Arlington, VA
Shrove Tuesday is a time of abundance at my Virginia parish. Volunteers at our annual pancake dinner served up 400 pancakes, 16 pounds of bacon, 90 sausage links, 6 pounds of strawberries, 6 gallons of orange juice, 2 gallons of milk, and a table full of toppings. But on this day of indulgence, we are aware that some fellow Christians struggle to feed their families.
This year we partnered with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund to turn our pancake dinner into a fundraiser for famine relief efforts in the Anglican Diocese of Wau in South Sudan. Political instability and conflict have led to food scarcity in the region. People are looking to the church to fill the gap in a country with few financial resources or social services. In a place where tribal differences and economic difficulty has frayed the social fabric, Christ is desperately needed to bring reconciliation and new life. The project was ideal because through ARDF we could send money directly to trusted friends in the diocese, and we knew the help would be quick to reach those in need.
In addition to a table with information about ARDF at the beginning of the pancake serving line, we also heard from John Westbrook of the ARDF US Board of Trustees. John offered a brief overview of the situation in South Sudan and invited people to participate as they were able. At the end of the night more than $900 was donated – not bad for a weeknight event populated by families with young children.
ARDF has been a good partner because we know that they can make our small contribution go far. Our connections with overseas Anglicans have increased, and we know that something as simple as a pancake dinner can be used by Christ to build community and come alongside those in need.
Do you want to have your own event in partnership with ARDF? It’s not that hard! Contact Christine Jones, ARDF’s Director of Mobilization, to learn how.Help raise awareness: