The Orphans' Feast

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When and Where:
Sunday, November 7, 2010 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
at St. Luke's United Methodist Church

100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260

Swazi Children Feasting
Annie Elble, Marion Miller, Cynthia Prime, Sheila Viswanathan

Free, donations requested

Event Description:

SOHO President Cynthia Prime will moderate an interactive discussion about food as a source of pleasure, key to safety and security, necessity of health, and symbol of hope. Participants in the discussion will be a clergyman (Rev. Marian Miller, St. Luke's), a native southern African (Sheila Viswanathan), and a nutrition expert (Annie Elble). Attendees will share in twos or threes the most memorable hunger experience, feasting experience and how this feast has helped them to see food through different eyes. A station will be set up where participants can create beaded cutlery and can either choose to donate it to the SOHO Welcome Place in Swaziland or take it home as a keepsake of this event. The Mission Possible St. Luke's Youth group will help with the beading project.

The call to action will be to share our resources with the children where a single serving of mealies is a typical day, consider the needs in our community, being more sensitive to the needs of children and families around us as well as those in places like sub-Saharan Africa where food could mean the difference between safety and abuse and where a feast could be one more reason to stay alive.

Food, family, fellowship, and friendship typically bring people together to celebrate a feast. Food, like love, conjures up definite images in the mind. Appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, drinks, and leftovers testify to the truth that there was enough. Feasting conjures up scenes of plenty, even of extravagance.

In contrast, sometimes orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) are brought together by a single common bond: hunger. Through film, photography, and discussion, participants will see a new definition of food and feasting. By preparing and partaking of a feast of orphan fare, they will develop a new understanding of hunger. This will indeed provide "food for thought."

To understand feasting within other contexts, we have to understand what food is, and what hunger is. What does it mean when someone says ā€œIā€™m starved?ā€ For some, it may simply mean skipping lunch or breakfast, or even the snack in between. The OVCs disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa feast and celebrate when there is enough food. The meal most often is white corn meal (mealies) with a little sugar or salt, whatever is available. When there is food, there is fellowship, joy and songs of thanksgiving.