Monday, January 21
Chapel: Sarah Derck, “Food in the Old Testament”
From the very first pages of Scripture, followers of God discover that what we eat matters to God. The dietary laws in the Pentateuch are notable for their detail and frequency, but tend to leave contemporary Christians scratching our heads. Is there more to ‘a biblical view of food’ than the restrictions by which Israel abided? Come and consider this most mundane part of life with us, as we explore the complicated relationship between humans and our food in light of God’s word.
Soup Kitchen Meal:
So often we talk about hunger without ever experiencing it. Because this week is focused on the relationship between theology and food, we are beginning Praxis week by asking students to give up one dinner in return for a simple meal of soup and bread. The money beyond the cost of the soup will be donated by Sodexo to a local food pantry, giving students an opportunity to give back to the Houghton community in a tangible way. So please join us as we give up a meal in order to share our resources with our neighbors!
Sign-ups to trade in a meal and participate will be during mealtimes the week beforehand.
Growing Greens in the Dorms: (Campus center basement, 8pm)
Growing food can seem daunting, especially while living in a college dorm. At this hands-on workshop, Environmental Club will provide an opportunity to do so by teaching participants how to create a window garden. We will use recycled water bottles and soda bottles as containers to grow plants such as lettuce, kale, and strawberries. Bring a plastic bottle if you are able, but they will be provided if you don’t have one.
All are welcome until materials run out.
Tuesday, January 22
Workshop section 11-11:50 am
Intentional Eating: Discussing Vegetarianism (ChC 223):
Have you ever tried to become more intentional about the way you eat? This workshop will address the topic of vegetarianism and how we can be intentional about our consumption of or abstinence from meat. A panel of vegetarians and thoughtful meat eaters will examine what motivates us to abstain from or consume meat, our relationship with animals raised for human consumption, the interplay between gender issues and vegetarianism, in addition to other personal, theological, practical, and theoretical questions. Panel members include Lori Huth, Ben Lipscomb, John Rhett, and Elizabeth Wallace.
Mike Walters, “Fasting and Feasting as Spiritual Disciplines” (Lib 323):
In the last couple decades, evangelical Christians have experienced a renewed interest in spiritual disciplines—tools that God gives us to help change our hearts. In this workshop, we’ll be examining fasting and feasting as spiritual disciplines. How does God take our choices to control our food intake and use those choices to bring us closer to Him? How does lack of self-control regarding food move us further from the center of God’s will for our lives?
Food From your Neighbors (Lib 303):
Food From your Neighbors is a panel centered around those living in and around our community that produces food. Our participants run a gammet, doing everything from farming to simple, self-sustained gardening. The panel members will discuss what it’s like to be an active producers of food, how they chose (or were chosen) to be people who work with the land and how they feel being a Christian does/does not affect the way they approach their food production. There is much to learn about how the vocation of farming, which is steeped in tradition and impacted by generations, but still affecting and being affected by the choices we make today. What can we conclude when we apply our views on Christianity to the practices of our neighbors, what have they already concluded?
Panel members include Joel and Kim Cockle, Ed and Christine Haag, and Kent Miller.
Wednesday, January 23
Chapel: Luis Noda, Global Executive Officer – Food for the Hungry, “Food and Social Justice”
Given that Praxis means "reflection aimed toward action," an issue that I would like us to reflect upon is that of food issues, particularly the lack of food. Psalm 146 mentions how the Lord gives food to the hunger, as well as how he responds to other social justice issues. Chronic hunger and malnourishment is intimately linked to the lack of social justice from the Biblical point of view and interrelated to poverty.
Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that 870 million people in the world (that's roughly 12.5% of the world's population) is undernourished. This is a number that is unacceptably high. Moreover, the majority of these people live in developing countries, and even in some regions that are experiencing economic growth. One conclusion is that economic growth alone cannot solve the issue of lack of food. Contrary to what some may think, the problem is complex to solve. So how should this problem be addressed, and what should be our personal response? In my presentation, we will first take a look at what the Bible has to say on the lack of food from the justice point of view. Second, we'll take a glance at the current status of food insecurity in the world. And lastly, we'll look at responses and responsibilities regarding this issue, both as individuals and as institutions. I invite you to join me in learning about food related efforts and positively impacting the world's most vulnerable.
Conversation with Luis Noda from 5-6:30 pm in the Alumni Dining Room. All are welcome to stop in with their meals. Scan in through the line as usual.
Thursday, January 24
Workshop section 11-11:50 am:
Brian Webb, “The Ethical Omnivore: How to eat guilt-free bacon and other food tips” (ChC 223):
Society puts a lot of pressure on us to eat right—less saturated fat, more fiber, eat local, buy organic, no carbs, the mantras are endless. But beyond the mixed messages and popular trends, are there ethical considerations implicit in these choices? Similarly, what role should our faith play in this decision-making process? This workshop will help you establish biblical guidelines to food by highlighting the connections between ethical decisions and sustainable eating. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding meat and the treatment of animals, fair trade issues, and the influence we have as consumers.
Mike Jordan, “Fasting and Feasting through the Christian Year” (Lib 323):
Most evangelicals have little connection with the Christian year beyond culturally-flavored celebrations of Christmas and Easter, and perhaps Lent and Advent. Yet the Christian year is an adventure, a yearly grand retelling of the salvation narrative that shapes our lives as Christians. The Christian year is not only designed to tell us the information of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, but to help us experience the highs and lows of the Christian life viscerally. Thus the Christian year leads us through a series of feasts and fasts to train our hearts through our stomachs. This workshop will introduce you to the feasts and fasts of the Christian year and show how they can be valuable tools for spiritual growth.
Wendy Baxter, “The Fear of Food: understanding eating disorders” (ChC 224):
This workshop discusses different elements of relevant eating disorders, especially anorexia. We will utilize video clips to facilitate a better understanding of this terrifying disorder. Also, with an empathetic look we will explore how the fear of food affects not only our bodies but our spirits. How, when faced with such a disorder can we find a true and positive understanding of food in our spiritual lives? How, in turn, should we react to our friends and neighbors who struggle in this area
Food for Your Neighbors (Lib 303):
In Allegany County, how many people go to sleep with an empty stomach? The local volunteers and officials in this panel workshop, who daily try to help meet the needs of Allegany Country and surrounding areas, will explore what it means to feed the hungry. The panel will discuss the issue of food dependency, thus articulating a concern many Christians have: How do I give? When is saying "no" more ultimately beneficial? Panel members will also tell stories, describe what students can do to help, and explain how a well-structured food operative functions. Panel members include Bruce Brenneman (Houghton Food Pantry), Pastor Larry Poelma (Cuba Food Pantry), and Suzanne Krull (Executive Director of the Cuba Culteral Center).
Campus-wide potluck: (ChC 123, 6-7:30 pm)
As we draw to the conclusion of our exploration of feasting and fasting, we would like to invite students, staff, faculty, and community members to join us as we celebrate the gifts and resources that God has given us. During this time, we will fellowship with one another by sharing the food that we have collectively brought and by taking communion after the meal, imitating Christ’s example. No sign up required, but please bring a dish and join in the feast!
As part of the potluck, communion will be served at7 pm. Even if you’re unable to join us for the potluck, please feel welcome to come at 7 for communion.
Friday, January 25
Chapel: Norman Wirzba, “Eating as a Christian Act”
Every Christian eats, but what would it look like to think about eating as the expression of Christian faith? In this talk we move past concerns about specific diets and recipes to a consideration of the deep theological meaning of food, and the theological resources in scripture available to help our eating and food production practices witness to God’s love in the world. Discover what it means to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Conversation with Norman Wirzba from 5-6:30 pm in the Alumni Dining Room. All are welcome to stop in with their meals. Scan in through the line as usual.
Tuesday, January 29
Cooking Skills Lab: (South end of dining hall, 6-8 pm)
There is much to be said about the theoretical side of eating and growing food, but what about the practical side? In this workshop, we aim to teach you a little bit about the fundamentals of cooking. Gabe Jacobsen will lead a team of faculty and community members as they present the different stages of preparing a meal, including slicing, chopping, seasoning, sautéing, bread making, vinaigrette preparation, etc. The workshop will be structured with a series of stations through which groups will rotate over the span of an hour or so. At the end of the workshop, we will present the finished product for which the stations were preparing and we will eat together as a group.
Limited to 40 participants; first come first served; a meal must be traded from your meal plan to participate – sign ups to trade in your meal will be during mealtimes in the days preceding the workshop.