Loaves of love

Published 6:23 pm Saturday, June 13, 2015

Folks who braved the heat and visited Lake Meade Park on Saturday may have been rewarded with a loaf of bread from the kids at Oakland Christian United Church of Christ.

Jason Stump, director of Christian education at the church, said groups of children and adults had gone out to bless people with 20 loaves of bread a couple of times before.

“We delivered loaves of bread randomly in the neighborhood,” he said. “It teaches the kids how to do that kind of work, and connects us to our neighborhood as well.”

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On Saturday, they shifted gears, purchasing 50 loaves at Walmart and descending first on the KidZone children’s playground.

Stump said the rescheduling of sport after last weekend’s rain meant there weren’t as many children as he’d hoped for, and the sultry conditions kept the numbers of potential recipients down a bit.

But more church kids and their parents trickled in as the day progressed, and they were planning to move on to the dog park and tennis courts to find some larger crowds.

Terran Davis, 8, happily approached Sharron Helton and Sandra Perrin with a loaf for each.

“It was a nice surprise,” Sharron Helton said. “It gives us something to snack on while the kids are playing.”

Pretty soon, Dana Mitchell showed up with her daughters, Dori, 11, and Claire, 9, to experience the bread ministry for the first time.

“I feel like they are going to be kind of surprised,” Dori said. “They wouldn’t expect someone handing out bread at a park.”

Claire said she wanted to join in “because I feel like people are going to like it.”

The ministry isn’t about recruitment, Stump said, but each loaf had a label attached with a scripture about bread – which the Bible has no lack of.

Recipients were also told about the church’s vacation Bible school.

“Biblically, bread is very symbolic,” Stump said. “And who doesn’t use a loaf of bread?”

During the previous bread forays into the neighborhood, he said, the children discovered some folks had a real need. Sometimes for the bread, but often for the social interaction.

“We have been to some places where it was the company more than the bread,” Stump said. “People are shutting themselves in more than they realize.”