Have Faith: Walking to end hunger

CROP Walk wraps up on Sunday; Congregational church hosts a concert.


It’s CROP Walk time again, folks, and we even have a closing ceremony this year. Join everyone on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 17, at 2:30 pm at St. Augustine’s Church in the parish parking lot. Woody Bowman, the Island’s astute CROP Walk organizer, wrote: “Swing to music by Becky Williams and Rich Giaimo (The Convertibles) as we celebrate the achievements of CROP Walkers and honor Good Shepherd Parish, retired Father Michael Nagle, and Joe Capobianco for their efforts to provide food to those in need. If you prefer to remain in your car, we will provide parking with a good view of the stage and stream the music and presentations on an FM radio signal.” Woody invites everyone to join them at this closing celebration.

This year’s CROP Walk runs from Oct. 1 until Oct. 17, with walkers still able to join up and also to contribute at bit.ly/3oZeG5A (donors can contribute online through the end of October). The Island has participated in the annual walk for more than three decades now, and we’ve raised more than a half-million dollars during that time. Even though the pandemic has put some constraints on the way the CROP Walk works, participants still raised $37,772 in 2020, their best year ever. Everyone loves to watch that giant group walk from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs and back, cheering them on as they go. With our nemesis the coronavirus, the walking has been done on our own this year as well as last. Thankfully, there’s that wrap party happening at St. Augustine’s.

While the CROP Walk is sponsored by Church World Service, 25 percent of the funds raised benefit the Island Food Pantry and the Vineyard Committee on Hunger right here on the Island. That means those two nonprofits together gained almost $10,000 last year. The other funds will be used by Church World Service in the U.S. and globally for emergency food supplies, agricultural training, livestock, wells and pumps, farm seeds, and farm equipment. This is why they walk.

So if you get a chance, check out that website and sign up to walk. You can ask a friend to go with you or even form your own small team to walk. Make sure you follow up and get those donations in, and by all means, join everyone else at the wrap party — wear a mask.


Remember the last Have Faith column, where I made clear my love of worship music, along with my wishful thinking about my singing abilities? Well, they are leaving it to the pros at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury. Soprano Molly Conole and pianist Lisa Weiss will be joined by John Schilling on trumpet for an afternoon of song they’re calling Belonging, Journeying, and Loving on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 3 pm. You can attend the concert at the church, or, if you’re more comfortable, you can enjoy the music as it’s live streamed at fccowt.org. Besides the musical guests, Rose Styron will read her Veteran’s Day poem at the event.

There is a suggested donation of $20 for the concert, with the proceeds benefiting the church. You should get there early and be sure to wear a mask. Students can attend free of charge.

If you have any questions, and especially if you have news or something you’d like to share, just send me an email at connie@mvtimes.com