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EMPTY BOWLS: Empty Bowls help ‘fill’ lives

The Salvation Army served soup and chili at the 2015 Empty Bowls Luncheon and claimed it to be the most successful one yet.

The Salvation Army served soup and chili at the 2015 Empty Bowls Luncheon and claimed it to be the most successful one yet.

All the soup and chili has been eaten. The pots and pans have been washed and put in the cabinets. The Empty Bowls Luncheon is now in the books.

The 2015 Empty Bowls Luncheon was the most successful yet in raising funds to keep the Salvation Army’s food pantry filled and the hungry in Pike County fed.

Kim May, director of the sponsoring Pike County Salvation Army Service Center and Thrift Store in Troy, said even though dark clouds hovered, people still turned out Friday for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser at the Fellowship Hall of Bush Memorial Baptist Church.

“We were very pleased with the response of the Pike County community,” she said. “We had the largest selection of bowls that we have had for ticket holders to choose from. It was interesting to watch people because they had a hard time choosing which bowl they wanted.”

Tickets for the Empty Bowls Luncheon were $20 and each ticket holder was entitled to choose a handmade clay bowl to take home and enjoy a bowl lunch with bread, dessert and beverages.

May said the variety of soups, stews and chilies was also the biggest ever.

“So many people made bowls and so many prepared food for the luncheon,” she said. “Everything used in the Empty Bowls Luncheon was donated – the food, the bowls, the dining facility – so that 100 percent of the proceeds will provide food for the hungry in Pike County.

“It’s encouraging and heart-warming to see so many people involved in the efforts to feed the hungry in our community. There are a lot of people in Pike County who go to bed hungry due to circumstances beyond their control. The Empty Bowls Luncheon will make a difference in a lot lives.”

The total for the fundraising event will not be known until all silent auction bids are collected. However, May said last year’s total of $6,000 has been reached.

A special event of the Empty Bowls Luncheon was “The Potters Sermon” by the Rev. Greg Aman, who is a professional potter as well as a minister. He threw a pot as he talked and related each stage of the bowl-throwing process to life.

“God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives,” Aman said. “We read in Jeremiah 18 that we are the clay and He is the potter. We are like a worthless piece of clay but in God’s hands, we can become something beautiful and useful.

“God’s plan is like this piece of clay. When I start, with it, I have a plan for what it will be and God has a plan for each of us.”

When Aman places a lump of clay on the potter’s wheel, it is off center and he must center it to be able to create something of use and value.

“We also must be centered in God’s will for our lives to follow God’s plan for us,” he said.

As he worked the clay, Aman placed his hands inside the working clay to open it up much as individuals must open their hearts so the Holy Sprit can speak to them.

As he pressed on the outside of the clay to pull it and lift it up, he said it’s almost impossible to avoid the outside pressures of the world but inner strength comes from Christian growth making it possible to withstand and overcome those pressures.

When things of the outside world seem overpowering, God’s love, grace and mercy will be sufficient, he said.

“God has a plan to transform each of our lives,” Aman said. “He can make our lives something beautiful and good. He is the potter. We are the clay in his hands.”

Greg Aman “throws” pottery while sharing “The Potter’s Sermon. Aman has “thrown pottery for over 40 years.

Greg Aman “throws” pottery while sharing “The Potter’s Sermon. Aman has “thrown pottery for over 40 years.