On Sunday, September 1st I attended my church, the First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge, for the first time. It is a small church nestled in the buzzing college town, on the corner of Inman Square. I was finally able to meet the congregation I will be serving and serving with.
On Monday the 2nd we moved into our house! It is a wonderful, huge house (technically the second and third stories of what’s called a multi-family home.) We each have our own room, along with a living room, dining room, and a huge kitchen. We were blessed with people to help us load up the truck and unload at the house, otherwise I think we’d still be moving. We had to run some errands (returning the truck, picking up our CSA produce, and buying basic supplies at Target on move-in weekend for all of the colleges– that was an awful idea.) Later in the evening the four of us were finally able to go through all of the donations. Almost everything in our house (washer and dryer and beds excluded) were donated by generous people in the Boston Presbytery. We organized bedding, furniture, copious amounts of kitchen supplies, and random odds and ends. Every time we opened a new box or bag we were stunned with how thoughtful and generous people have been. We were able to set up the living, dining, and kitchen rooms in almost working order so we could blow up our air mattresses (we didn’t get beds for another week) and crash for the night. Because on Tuesday we each started work at our placement!
I met the representative from Bread for the World’s eastern hub at the church on Tuesday morning, and we met throughout the week and had great discussions about what Bread for the World does and how I will fit in. I am an unofficial community organizer in Massachusetts for Bread and will be working with local churches and organizations to help fight hunger. I am really excited to start working on, as some friends in school referred to it, “ending world hunger, in Boston, in one year.” I know this is not what I’m here to do (or feasible) but it’s easy to talk and think in grand concepts and abstract ideas of what community organizing is. But the hard part is figuring out what that is on a daily basis.
Right now, my job is focused on reading, researching, and learning about the history and mission of Bread along with it’s current objectives for this coming year. I’ve also met with my pastor from FUPC Cambridge and will be doing similar things- reading and researching ways for the church, along with the greater Presbytery and Boston community, can get involved in “food justice.” Whether that means learning about sustainable agriculture, fair wages for migrant workers, how to shop locally, the importance of political advocacy and writing letters to state representatives, and/or helping with a food pantry. The opportunities are endless, and my job is to find and create them!