Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Art of Sharing

We are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of PWRDF with "The Art of Sharing Project.”“

The Art of Sharing” is a wonderful project that inspires “giving.” Rev Marian Lucas-Jefferies gives an inspirational sermon about the work of the Canadian FoodGrains Bank and Dale Cook is inspired to help them with their life saving work. Being an artist, Dale gives her time and talent to create the work “Silence is Not the Answer” based on photographs taken in Ethiopia from the personal collection of RevMarian Lucas-Jefferies.

Gale donates the painting to PWRDF, requesting that it be used as a fund-raiser for the Canadian FoodGrains Bank of which PWRDF is a partner. The photograph Dale chose to reproduce is a mountain scene in northern Ethiopia that shows walkers passing each other in what seems an endlessly barren land.

“Dust and rocks, dust and rocks — the people of northern Ethiopia walkthe endless fields and roads high in the mountains and deep in thevalleys, The land they travel looks barren — old and worn out. The people look determined. They must be, because they walk so far. Ethiopia isn’t all dust and rocks, though. There is rich, fertile landand it bears coffee, tea, sugarcane, bananas … corporate cash cropsexported to wealthy countries like ours. But the people of Ethiopia are left with the dust and rocks, Fair? No. We owe them so much (RevMarian Lucas-Jefferies)."

"Canadian FoodGrains Bank, a partnership of Canadian church-basedagencies, is a fitting recipient of the proceeds of the Ethiopian scene. It works to end hunger in developing countries by increasing and deepening the involvement of Canadians in this task — just as theArt of Sharing is a fitting title for this local support effort. Dale also plans a series of paintings on PWRDF themes and a percentage of the proceeds from those paintings will also go to the CanadianFoodGrains Bank (Ana Watts, NB Anglican)."

Anne Walling, Diocese of Fredericton PWRDF Coordinator, and the PWRDF Committee agree to promote the project with an online auction. The auction is advertised on the Internet by Dave Wilson (a PWRDFCommittee member and web administrator) and Anne Walling. The paintingis shown in as many Anglican Churches in New Brunswick as time permits. Ana Watts (Communications Officer, Diocese of Fredericton) gives of her time and talents to write several articles for publication on the web and in the print media. Dave is instrumental in raising awareness of the promotion to the members of the Synod 2009 with images on the big screen, thus giving more people a chance to view and bid on the painting.

The high bidder of the auction is Greg Hiltz of the Parish of Simonds,Saint John, NB. Bishop Claude Miller presented the painting to Greg at Synod 2009. Greg and Debbie Hiltz believe that the painting has a spiritual quality and it should be displayed in a church. Therefore,they are very generously giving the painting to their church, All Saints Anglican, Loch Lomond, Parish of Simonds, Saint John, NB.

Greg and Debbie are not strangers to the "Art of Sharing." They have been members of All Saints Anglican, Loch Lomond since 1991, having brought up two daughters in the Church. Greg served as a warden for many years and he currently serves on the vestry and Debbie sings in the choir. The Hiltz family was impressed by the painting when Rev Terence Chandra displayed it during a Sunday service, and now the painting will be displayed in his church.

The painting sold for $407 but the benefit is more significant than that. With Canadian government support through CIDA, the International Canadian Development Agency, CFGB projects can be matched by as much as four dollars for every dollar raised. That means that the actual benefit from the painting could be as much as $2035, a huge investment on money donated to the Canadian FoodGrains Bank through PWRDF. Most important is the benefit received by our partners overseas. The mission of the Canadian FoodGrains Bank is to "end hunger" at a time where one billion people suffer from hunger. Last year CFGB and its partners engaged in 98 food aid and assistance projects.

That is not all, Dale Cook plans to continue “The Art of Sharing” project by creating several more paintings based on Rev Marian’s photos and experiences. The details are not completed but the artist is planning an Art Show at the Kennebecasis Library in Quispamsis, NB in December where the new paintings will be displayed. A portion from the sale of these paintings will be donated to CFGB through PWRDFto continue their work to feed the hungry. The details of this event will be published at a later date.

The giving is contagious with everyone unabashedly giving one hundred percent and more to raise awareness of the life saving work of PWRDFand the Canadian FoodGrains Bank. This project is truly a blessing for everyone involved. We are working together, partners with the same vision and goal, we will feed the hungry.

Respectfully, Anne Walling.

(The painting is copyright Dale Cook and it was photographed by David Little Photography for the promotion of The Art of Sharing.)

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