Members of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church will be really busy this weekend — making 10,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless.
That's double the number usually assembled at the church's yearly marathon, in celebration of the ministry's 10th anniversary.
On Saturday, volunteers will create the sandwiches using 960 pounds of peanut butter and 475 jars of jelly. A setup shift is from 8 to 9 a.m.; first shift is 9 a.m. to noon and the second shift is noon to 3 p.m. at the church, 1551 Belcher Road in Palm Harbor.
The idea sprang from a similar project by members of Crystal Beach Community Church who, many years ago, made and distributed sandwiches in a park near the church.
The plan gelled with a 2003 visit from Paul and Ellen Haynes who, along with other members of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Tarpon Springs, shared their church's own PB&J project with PHUMC.
Within a month of the Haynes' visit, PHUMC started its own PB & Joy ministry, creating 300 to 500 sandwiches per month.
During the program's first year, Daniel Parvin, a member of the church's youth group, suggested a 5,000-sandwich marathon, which became an annual event.
To accomplish this year's goal, the church needs donations of peanut butter, jars of jelly, 10,000 closable sandwich bags and cash donations to purchase bread. Volunteers are also needed for production, bagging and transportation.
The sandwiches will be distributed to Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa and Pasco, the Shepherd Center in Tarpon Springs, the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Suncoast Haven of Rest, F.E.A.S.T. and the St. Petersburg Food Bank.
For more information, call (727) 791-8615.
• • •
Sukkot, the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, is a Jewish holiday that lasts seven days and commemorates the 40-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Also a harvest festival, Sukkot is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Ingathering.
Congregation Ohr Chadash, a Messianic synagogue at 3190 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater, invites the public to celebrate Sukkot at 8 p.m. today.. The holiday service will take place in the sukkah, where traditional foods will be eaten. The service will also emphasize the Messianic significance of the holiday and its relationship to Jesus of Nazareth.
Call (727) 726-1472.
• • •
The food pantry of the Tarpon Springs Philoptochos Chapter of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 18 Hibiscus St. (behind the cathedral), Tarpon Springs, is open to the needy from 10 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 to 10 a.m. every Thursday.
Call (727) 944-3666.
• • •
Festival Ruah, an interfaith, multicultural celebration, will present "Storytellers From Around the World" at 7 p.m. Friday at Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater.
Hosted by Catherine Costa, Barry Skeete and jazz musician Fred Johnson, guests include Caribbean storyteller Miss Jen Jen, poet Myron Jackson, vocalist Christine Ghezz and the Rev. Anthony Johnson, UUC's interim minister, who will make his debut Ruah appearance.
Offerings will be accepted.
Call (727) 531-7704 or email [email protected]
• • •
With clergy and people from many faiths in attendance, the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan will join the International Peace Pole Project and dedicate its new Peace Pole at 11 a.m. Saturday at 2165 NE Coachman Road in Clearwater.
The Peace Pole Project was first introduced to the United States in 1986. Today, it is estimated that more than 200,000 Peace Poles stand in almost every country throughout the world.
The public is invited to the free event.
Call (727) 461-1717 or visit goodsamaritan-swfla.org.
• • •
What if you could manifest your imagination and receive what you have longed for?
Awaken Your Imagination, a four-week class presented by the New Thought Center for Creative Living, will be from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings, beginning Sept. 25, at the Unity Peace Cottage, 2465 Nursery Road in Clearwater.
"Everything starts in imagination," said the Rev. Marla Sanderson, who will teach the class. "It can produce Disneyland or dysfunction, but it's always at work."
The text for the class is Awakened Imagination by Neville Goddard.
The class fee is $80, payable at the first session, or $25 per class.
For information and to register, call (727) 475-8991 or email [email protected]
Mail religion news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email [email protected]