Andrew has quite the stellar resume. Check it out – and these are just a few highlights.
• One of Jesus’ closest friends.
• First Apostle.
• Younger brother of St. Peter.
• Patron saint of Scotland.
Andrew was there when Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Andrew found the boy with the food and brought him to Jesus. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! The selfie on that miracle would have been, well, miraculous. Each Friday, a group of First Lutheran members and other partners united in mission to provide breakfast at Greensboro Urban Ministry ultimately serve about 5,000 people a year – a modern-day reenactment of that famous story.
The spirit of Andrew is one of humility and service, a beacon of caring that burns bright through the centuries. The story of the loaves and fishes echoes across time, bringing hope and relief to those in need. Feeding the hungry is basic as a Christian action.
Who illuminates the spirit of Andrew for you?
People in Greensboro such as Don and Kristy Milholin with the Out of the Garden Project reflect Andrew’s energy to serve and offer hope. Since August 2008, beginning in their home, they began collecting food and have distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to Guilford County students and their families. And more than 800 volunteers pack, sort and deliver food monthly.
One last part of Andrew’s resume is a simple fisherman. Called as a fisher of people, his preaching and teaching in Asia Minor established churches there. He spoke Greek and provided translation services to those who wanted to talk about Jesus. Who stands in front of people advocating for barriers to be broken and bridges to be built?
FaithAction International House embodies the desire and fervor to reach out to the stranger, to listen to the story of a new friend. A new language of welcoming and hospitality is taught to people on both sides of the divide. And the National Conference for Community and Justice offers workshops and seminars that teach people how to overcome divisions and how to cross racial and ethnic barriers.
Just as Andrew repaired his nets to catch fish, crusading nonprofits in the Triad — fueled by humble and persistent everyday saints — seek to repair the broken places and people damaged in life’s churning ocean. Andrew, who died on an X-shaped cross, continues to spread the good news of God’s love through those who have caught his vision of care, concern and compassion.
Frank Moore, who helps to coordinate programs to fight hunger and homelessness, is director of community ministries First Lutheran Church.