Welcome to CENTRALPosts. This space is a place to explore ideas from our different initiatives and working groups. You will find entries from our Matthew 25 working groups focused on Dismantling Structural Racism and Eradicating Systemic Poverty, as well as entries by the Earth Care team.
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We at CENTRALongmont Presbyterian Church invite you to join us Saturday, October 30th from 11:00-11:30 a.m. as we ring our church bell for God's creation.
mostly associate church bells with calls to worship, weddings, and significant
national celebrations. But they also
have another historic function: to ring out warnings. Our planet has given us
warning after warning, through floods, wildfires, droughts, heat domes, and
hurricanes, that we have profoundly affected the balance of nature. Here in Colorado, we see reduced snowpack, earlier
snowmelt, increased risk of high intensity wildfires, extreme weather
events, an increased number of “high heat” days, and ozone action alerts.
As Jesus-followers, we are concerned with the millions around the world who are being profoundly affected. Chief among them are the poor, who have contributed the least to the problem, and nations already suffering the severest effects of drought, fires, floods, and crop failures. The poor in this country will also be the first to suffer from rising food prices, heat exhaustion, or the inability to insure their homes and businesses against these extreme events. The climate crisis is a poverty crisis, refugee crisis, hunger crisis, health crisis. It is a human crisis.
The bells of churches in Glasgow, Scotland will be ringing out a welcome October 30th to delegates from 197 nations meeting for the 26th International Conference to address the Climate Crisis (COP 26). The bells will also be ringing as a warning to remind them—and us—of the urgency of the dangers we all now face. We will be joining with churches in Glasgow and around the world to sound the alarm and lift these delegates in prayer for courage and strength. We invite you, and other faith communities to join us in this call to action.
We could use your help. Reach out to Jennifer if you feel moved to participate. Help ring. Pray in the Sanctuary. Greet passers-by and hand out candy to families leaving the downtown Halloween Parade.
Here we are. The first of August greets us with Japanese beetles, grasshoppers, flea beetles, squirrels, rabbits…. What is a gardener to do?
• Harvest beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and corn often so they continue to produce.
• At midmonth, direct seed fall season crops like spinach, radishes, Swiss chard and beets.
• Onions are ready to harvest when their green tops fall over. Lift the bulbs, brush off loose soil, and lay them out in a single layer in a protected area on a surface that permits ventilation top and bottom.
• Peppers can be harvested anytime they achieve the size you need or want.
• Water tomatoes regularly until late August. After that, fruit will ripen more quickly when water is withheld.
When garden beds become empty after harvesting, sow cover crops, often called green manure, like annual rye grass or buckwheat to build garden soil. You can plant green manure where vegetables were growing to keep the garden weed-free, prevent soil erosion and add organic matter to the soil. Sow the seed thickly to create a cover that will not allow weeds to compete. Chop the plants down if they flower, to prevent them from self-seeding and becoming weeds themselves. Later they can be turned under as a soil amendment.
One of the common diseases that may plague the vegetable crop this time of the year is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can appear in your vegetable gardens as patches of white or gray powdery substance. It attacks where plants are crowded and kept damp. Susceptible plants are squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. There are several organic OMRI approved fungicides which may be found at local nurseries. For infected vegetables, remove as much of the plant and its debris in the fall as possible. This decreases the ability of the fungus to survive the winter. Do not compost infected plant debris. Put them in your trash. Temperatures often are not hot enough to kill the fungus.
In September we will look at the first frost date and how to close the garden.
Why supporting high quality child care and early education is an important action that we all can take to help eradicate systemic poverty.
Week 6 of 6: Children who attend quality early child programs have greater access to health care and improved physical health, receive better dental care, and demonstrate improved nutritional status and better nutritional practices.
Week 5 of 6: Participation in high-quality early care can help children avoid special education, grade repetition, early parenthood, and incarceration – all outcomes that imply large costs for government and for society.
Week 4 of 6: Access to quality daycare may also open the door for parents to further their education in order to improve their career prospects. Those individual benefits can be substantial, and life-changing.
Week 3 of 6: Much of the most critical brain development in children takes place before they even reach kindergarten. A widely-cited study tracked verbal interactions in the home involving children up to age 3 from 3 socio-economic groups. By age 3, children from the poorest families heard 30 million fewer words than those from more affluent families. Early childhood education can help mitigate these differences and help close the achievement gap.
Week 2 of 6: Research shows that high-quality child care can have long-term benefits for children, including increased cognitive abilities, improved language development, better relationships with peers, and less conflict with caregivers. However, these benefits may not be realized if the quality of care is low.
Week 1 of 6: Reliable, high-quality child care and early education enables parents to work so they can support their families and lift them out of poverty and gives children the learning opportunities they need for a strong start.
Are you growing a row to share with the food insecure in our community? Thank you! Share your garden pictures with us during the growing season!
Want to share Grow & Give with your neighbors? Yard signs are being distributed to CSU Extension offices across the state. The signs are free and available until they give them all away! We will have a few to share in the office after June 8 or contact your local Extension office to get your sign! Help share this wonderful outreach to encourage others to participate in your neighborhoods.
We will start accepting your produce donations on Sunday mornings starting June 20th and continue each week until the end of harvest season.
HOW TO DONATE?
You do not need to wash your produce (just remove obvious dirt clumps), but please read these guidelines for Keeping Your Produce Safe for Donation.
There are several options for donating your produce:
We will start accepting the donations June 20 through the end of harvest season on Sunday mornings. Place your fruit/vegetable donation in the baskets on the Giving Garden table located in the Overflow Room. Your donation will be weighed and then shared with The Round Pantry, The OUR Center or HOPE for Longmont on Monday morning. We will NOT be taking produce mid-week in the church office as we do not want it to sit around and spoil in the building. Thank you for your understanding.
Or find your own Grow and Give donation site in Longmont at this link and give whenever it is convenient for you. Please weigh your donation and share that information with Jennifer each time you donate. A bathroom scale works well for weighing at home.
Thank you for helping to end hunger in our community!