Worshipping God in the Real World – Dumpster Diving for Food Justice

This morning I came across an article on Grist magazine entitled Dumpster Diver Says Trader Joe’s Must Start Wasting Food

All in all, Americans throw out a whopping one-half of the food we produce and import. This wastefulness coexists with a devastating recession and record numbers of Americans dependent on food stamps—one in eight of us, to be exact. Our propensity to waste has now reached beyond our means to do so, and yet we keep up the bad habit even while our neighbors go hungry. Read the entire article

I was fascinated by this depiction of yet another aspect of our food chain that I tend to pay little attention to.  How much food is wasted in our communities and what can we do to change this.

I know a number of people in Christian communities around the world who supplement their food with dumpster diving but to be honest I have never really thought about the possibility of this bein a spiritual practice.  But the article this morning had me wondering: Could this be another issue that requires us to step forward in faith and make a difference?  Is the disposal of food waste as much a Christian responsibility as I think its production and consumption is? and lastly is our involvement in this issue yet another possible way that we worship God?

The film about and by  Jeremy Seifert  DIVE! will be released on DVD, iTunes, and Netflix on July 19.



God Sightings Off Campus – by Theresa Froehlich

The first post in our series Worshipping God in the Real world is contributed by Theresa Froehlich. Theresa is a Certified Life Coach, an ordained minister, a native of Hong Kong, the mother of two grown children, and the wife of Hervey Froehlich’s.


“Why don’t you write a book about marriage?”Charles asked me as he dexterously snipped off strands of my hair with his scissors. This conversation began with me sharing with my Korean hairdresser about the book I have been writing as a result of the traumatic launch of our two children, now in their early 20’s.

“This is a book to show struggling parents how to stop parenting, let go and move on. The book grew out of my messy launching experience.”

At first hesitantly, he confided, “I have so many problems in my marriage. My wife of six years is leaving me and taking our one-year old daughter with her. She has yelled very abusive words at me numerous times and used expletives when she lost it with my parents. She has moved out and yet she feels I should be paying for her apartment and living expenses. I don’t want to get a divorce but she refuses to listen. I have hired a lawyer to fight for the custody of my daughter.”

“Does she speak any English? Does she have a green card?”

“She speaks only Korean. No, she doesn’t yet have a green card.”

“Charles! That must be very painful.”

As I finished paying for my haircut, I bowed in the Korean custom (even though I am not Korean) and promised to pray for him. He looked at me with gratitude and hope in his eyes, because another human being had taken the time to listen to his story, to enter into his pain, and to feel his heartache.

Pain has a way of opening my eyes to see the suffering around me and to visualize myself as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. My own painful experiences have stripped away my self-centeredness and turned my eyes from the institutional church to the world, the community, and the individuals around me. After all, this is “the world” that God so loved that he gave his only Son.

Years of teaching adult Sunday School, leading Bible Study groups, and speaking at and attending retreats have all been very challenging, productive and enjoyable. Yet, something has been missing in my walk with Jesus Christ, the connection with those who do not darken the doors of the institutional church, the place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can become animated in the daily conversations in the marketplace and the neighborhoods.

At times, I wondered if I need to take Communication 101 or re-read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People in order to connect with those who don’t speak Christianese. After all, talking to non-Christians is somewhat like cross-cultural communication. I was pleasantly surprised that what people most appreciate is simply my attentive attitude and listening ear.

Worshipping in the Real World: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life

Next week I will start a series of blog posts on spiritual practices in everyday life which you can read about in a previous post entitled Worshipping God: Out of Church and Into the World.  I have several quest bloggers already lined up and expect that many more will join over the coming weeks.

One of my growing passions is helping people find a 24/7 faith that is expressed in and through their everyday activities.  I strongly believe that everything we do is meant to be an act of worship in which we either experience or represent God.  I am also concerned that one of the reasons people are disconnecting from church and faith is because we have so divorced faith practices from the everyday world in which most of us live.

Kingdom signs are all around us.  We encounter God in conversations with friends and colleagues, and in generosity and compassion towards strangers.  We interact with God when we pet animals and dig in the garden, when we dig wells in Africa and respond to tornado victims in Joplin.  These can all become sacramental acts of faith if we open our eyes and ears to see and listen.

There is still time to participate in this series.  If you would like to contribute a guest post please email me at seasickdoctor@gmail.com for instructions.  And do let your friends and fellow bloggers know.  I hope that this series will be both diverse and faith building for all of us as we learn more about what it means to worship the God who created us and who is present in all we are and do.