This Sunday will be the beginning of our fall Love Loaf ministry in addition to being World Communion Sunday. Love Loaf is a ministry of World Vision, a Christian relief organization that began right after the Korean War, originally to help children who had been affected by that war. Today, World Vision is active in about 100 nations around the world, bringing food, clothing, medical care, and other help to children and adults who desperately need it.
From the World Vision web site:
Love Loaf is a World Vision program that provides a powerful way for churches and families to grow in and live out their faith together by responding to needs in a hurting world. It is our hope that by participating in Love Loaf, churches, families, and groups will gain a greater awareness of the suffering that takes place in many parts of the world and will be inspired to do what they can to make a difference in the lives of others.
Last year more than 2,000 churches in the United States participated in Love Loaf. More than 280,000 families raised more than $1 million to help orphans and vulnerable children in Africa and refugee children and families around the world. This year, Love Loaf donations will provide life-saving food and other critical assistance to children and families in need across the globe.
Each family will receive a Love Loaf bank to put on their table at home, along with a 28-day devotional book. Over the four-week period of the program, we ask that everyone put their loose change and other offerings into the Love Loaf at mealtimes, using the devotional guide once a day (such as at dinner) to highlight the needs around the world.
So what’s with the paper boxes this year?
Those of you who participated in Love Loaf last year remember the little plastic bread-shaped banks we used. Some people will be taking plastic Love Loaf banks home this year (because we have some left over from last year): others will be taking home a paper box (illustrated at the right). Why? Well, I ordered the plastic banks, but they sent the paper ones, along with a note that said there had been a problem with the plant at which the plastic banks are manufactured and that they were unable to provide them this year. The note went on to say that they hoped to have the plastic Love Loaves back for next year’s program. So don’t get your feelings hurt if you don’t get a plastic one. (Just be sure you’re not late for church if you really, really want a plastic bank!)
The 28-day Love Loaf program will begin Sunday, October 1 and run through Saturday, October 28. Sunday, October 29 will be Love Loaf Harvest Sunday, on which we’ll bring all our Love Loaves back to church, and the money we’ve raised will be sent on to World Vision. (That’s also Reformation Sunday, of course, and it will be the culmination of our Reformation Conference, but more on that another time.)