This week’s ECN local-project spotlight features the First Nations Kitchen at All Saints Episcopal Indian Mission, supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota.
In 2017, the Episcopal Church approved 44 Stewardship of Creation grants for local ministries. Every Thursday, to help highlight the exciting work happening across the Body of Christ and to provide examples of what your own parish or diocese might do, we highlight one of the grant winners here.
According to a church press release, All Saints Episcopal Indian Mission received $5,000 to “advance the food justice work at First Nations Kitchen by launching a second community meal that will increase access to healthy Indigenous food, and [by] increasing collaborative community programming.”
The First Nations Kitchen website describes itself as “a ministry led by indigenous people for indigenous people… First Nations Kitchen is primarily a justice-focused, Gospel-based ministry. Its primary intent is to provide food to indigenous people who would not otherwise have access to high-quality, fresh organic food in an environment of radical hospitality and cultural empowerment… It is hoped that the garden will serve as a neighborhood gathering place, a chance to build deeper relationships with guests and volunteers, provide an opportunity for traditional harvest ceremonies, and bring indigenous people together to learn ancestral methods of growing their own food.
“The FNK Ministry Team also wants to deepen and widen its program by investing in its relationships with guests and volunteers. The kitchen provides a unique opportunity to come together around common interests (mission, Gospel faithfulness, addressing real human need) across cultural differences that in other circumstances divide rather than unite. The team sees transformative potential in deepening their relationship with their parish partners and guests – providing opportunities to know one another better, regularly engage the practice of Gospel-Based Discipleship, and together confront and move beyond racism. There are countless opportunities to more deeply involve parish partners and guests beyond tasks associated with making a meal, such as building relationships with new volunteers, fundraising, tilling soil, tending the compost pile, distributing food city-wide.”
The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior, Bishop of Minnesota, has written about First Nations’ Kitchen, “First Nation’s Kitchen is the embodiment of engaging God’s mission. Discerned gifts are being used to meet the world’s needs, and through this: transformation is taking place. The Kingdom of God is coming near every Sunday afternoon at All Saints [Indian Mission].”
The picture of the cake from the First Nations Kitchen Facebook page.
Full disclosure: ECN’s new volunteer deputy editor was a member of the committee that awarded these grants. Both volunteer editors are now volunteers on the task force that will administer the next round of grants.