Hope Presbyterian Church — Springfield, Illinois
Something that continues to be right about Hope Church is Gardeners with Hope. They are a faithful cadre of gardeners who farm a small plot on church grounds. All produce from this small plot is planted, tended, harvested and delivered to the local food pantry at Kumler Outreach Ministries. Gardeners with Hope began in 2007 as a dedicated group of members, friends and neighbors who combine their love of God and their joy of gardening to plan, prepare, pray, plant, compost, weed, fertilize, water, pray, harvest, wash, clean, bag, weigh, pray and deliver over 400 pounds of produce every year. Although the pandemic required some changes to the process, the outcomes have been remarkable. Last year’s annual report noted: “Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, we were able to get most of the seeds and plants into the garden at the correct planting time. We wore masks and attempted to maintain social distancing.” To date they have been able to supply more than 6,326 pounds of produce to the people of Sangamon County while, at the same time, sharing stories, teaching newcomers and working together to provide a glimpse of God’s abundant creation.
— Chuck Goodman, pastor