Enjoy the music and feed the hungry

Volunteers provide groceries for  the hungry each weekday at the Reach Out facility behind St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill.

South Valley residents are invited to an important event at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 22. Morgan Hill’s Advent Lutheran Church (16870 Murphy Ave.) is hosting a concert to benefit Reach Out, the local food pantry affiliated with the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Seven entertainers from South Valley Singers will be presenting Gospel and bluegrass music, including favorites such as “This Train is Bound for Glory,” “Do Lord,” “I Saw the Light” and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
For admission to the evening, audience members are asked to bring a donation of nonperishable food, or cash contributions are also always welcome.
Reach Out had a modest beginning in 1981 as a cache of food supplies kept in a closet at St. Catherine Roman Catholic Church. Soon four other local churches (United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Lutheran) decided to pool resources to feed the hungry of Morgan Hill, San Martin and Coyote. This concert is a return to a tradition of two decades ago when additional funding was raised by an annual variety show held with the support of local churches and entertainers.
Today, Reach Out is housed in a portable building behind St. Catherine (17400 Peak Ave.). More than 60 community volunteers give time to collect, organize and distribute food from 1 to 2:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday. Nearly 1,600 people receive a bag of groceries each month.
People needing food assistance can register at the Reach Out location during open hours; valid photo ID must prove residence in Morgan Hill, San Martin or Coyote.
Since there are a minimum of three volunteers on duty at all times, more are always welcome. For more information, call (408) 779-3959.
Church offers unique Lenten experience
During the 40-day Christian period of Lent, Advent Lutheran Church (16870 Murphy Ave.) invites area residents to a special opportunity on Thursday evenings: Prayer Around the Cross in the style of Taize.
The Taize Community is an ecumenical monastic order founded in 1940 in Burgundy, France. With more than 100 brothers from both Catholic and Protestant traditions, it is a symbol of the ideal of Christian cooperation and sharing.
Each year, more than 100,000 young people from around the world make a pilgrimage to Taize for prayer, Bible study and the experience of living together in kindness and simplicity. Moving prayer services feature simple, scriptural songs sung in many languages.
From 7:15 to 7:40 p.m. Thursdays, Advent’s sanctuary is illuminated by candlelight; a large wooden cross set on the floor will be the focal point as participants meditate, sing and pray with a sense of peace, awe and hope. These evenings will also feature a simple meal and a presentation about suffering and transformation in our community and world. Visitors are welcome to participate in any part of the program. For complete schedule information, contact the church at (408) 779-3551 or www.advent-lutheran.org.
Chuck Flagg is a retired teacher with a passion for religion. Reach him at [email protected]