Setting a Time for the Feast
For some congregations, a simple luncheon after Sunday worship is the best way to get maximum participation. For others, a weekend evening allows people to focus just on the event at hand.
Often, tying the meal and/or program into an event that is already happening is an effective way to not duplicate “turn out” efforts. For example, if your church already plans other harvest-themed events or hosts a weekly meal, these might be good opportunities to weave in farm worker themes, rather than creating a separate event.
However, we recommend that the Harvest of Justice Season event be separate from any Thanksgiving Day celebrations, since the idea is to have a humble, simple, even sacrificial meal in the midst of the abundance that we enjoy.
Choosing a Structure for the Event
We recommend planning an event that is an hour to an hour and a half. Plan enough time for fellowship, eating, and a program centered on farm workers or the work of NFWM. Suggested activities could include:
– Prayer using the Harvest of Justice Prayer pamphlet
– View the powerpoint presentation about farm workers (“NFWM Presentation 2012“)
– Visit our Current Action Alerts and determine if there is an action, such as letter writing or postcards that attendees could participate in.
– Use our Worship Resources to prepare a short service honoring farm workers
Planning the Meal
We suggest a simple meal of soup and bread. The meal could be prepared together in advance or you could also hold the meal as a potluck.
Please use this template for simple placemat containing photos and quotes to remind people of the farm worker focus. The templates can be printed out on regular 8 ½ x 11 paper, and then enlarged 129% on a copier to 11 x 17. If you cut the corners off, you will have a meaningful and attractive looking placemat to place on the tables for your meals.
If you choose to use this meal to support the National Farm Worker Ministry financially, we suggest you let people know ahead of time that they will be encouraged to give a donation. You can either have a person at the door accepting the donations or place baskets on the tables or by the food clearly marked for donations. You can either ask people for a specific amount (e.g. $10 for an evening meal), ask people to simply contribute whatever they would have spent on a meal out or – to be sure not to exclude families, students and others – you can simply ask for a free will donation.
Have a wonderful time and thank you for hosting this event!