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Not Guilty

August 2, 2023

I was heartened by a recent “not guilty” verdict by a Houston jury regarding a Food Not Bombs (FNB) volunteer ticketed for feeding the homeless downtown Houston. It is a hopeful sign for other volunteers who have been issued tickets and scheduled to appear in court. I hope juries continue to nullify the law criminalizing feeding the homeless. To be fair, the city had created their own program to provide food and services to the homeless. Is there a way for FNB and Houston to work together on this?

In Matthew 14 Jesus and disciples were confronted with a hungry crowd, a story found in all four gospels. Jesus told his disciples to feed the people. The disciples said, “We don’t have enough food. The only food we see is in that child’s lunchbox, a couple pieces of bread and some fish.” Jesus is clear that the disciples should be involved in the feeding: “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” God invites us to serve the needs of the community with the resources we have at hand, even if they seem inadequate to the need.

When the community of faith gathers up what it has and holds together, it is able to accomplish more than imagined. The hungry are fed and there are lots of leftovers!

Lee Lever, Transitional Pastor

Houston Mennonite Church

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