Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pie in the Sky

There are no apple pies in the Bible. In fact, apples have had their share of bad press as the poster child for original sin. (For the record, Genesis talks about the fruit of the tree in the Garden of Eden, but doesn't specify that Adam and Eve actually plucked apples to get themselves into trouble.)

So it may seem like sacrilege that we gave up Sunday School after worship to make apple pies. But the 30 or so people who stayed to peel, slice, toss, roll, crimp and package were "doing church" as we gathered in what is appropriately called Fellowship Hall. Between the laughter and good-natured banter, there was definitely fellowship going on.

The apple pies will be sold at the United Methodist Women bazaar on Election Day, November 4. They are frozen, and buyers will take them home to bake the pies in their own kitchens. 

For the 33 years I've been part of Stafford United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women have tried to recruit workers by telling them, "Nobody has to make a whole pie." It sounds like an oxymoron. Isn't making pies the ultimate goal?

Yes, it is. But nobody has to make a pie all by their lonesome. It reminds me of I Corinthians 12:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. ...12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 
Everyone had their own jobs, including my husband. 
Several of the guys ran the mechanical peeler/corer station. Randy says there were the inevitable comparisons of running farm machinery and kitchen gadgets - and the ever-present need for tinkering and repairs. 
There also seemed to be a brainstorming session at that table. South Hutchinson UMC has a food booth at the Kansas State Fair. These guys were thinking that we could batter apple skins, fry them, and find some way to offer them up on a stick at next year's fair. We certainly had plenty of them.
Another table peeled apples the old-fashioned way with peelers and paring knives.
We didn't charge extra for smiles or conversation.

Once the apples were peeled, there was a stop at the apple slicing station.
From there, they went into the crowded kitchen. An assembly line of workers measured the sugar, cinnamon and flour mixture that would coat the apples.
Among them was Kyle, who would later drive back to K-State to study for a Monday test. His Grandma Bonnie, who passed away earlier this year, always crimped the pies. The family legacy continued.

Our youngest helper, Liam, was part of three generations of workers with grandparents and parents doing their part, too. Liam drifted between jobs, but seemed to most enjoy stirring the flour, sugar and cinnamon mixture into the apples with Jo. 
But he was also willing to roll up his sleeves and help his Mommy, too.
Two of the guys were recruited for pie crust making. Marion makes pie crust mix from scratch (using 3 pounds of shortening at a time!) and then just adds water on the apple pie construction day.
These ladies could be heard asking, "Do you need a top crust or a bottom crust?"
After the filling went in, the pie crimpers made sure it all looked good.
In the end, we made 65 pies in just 2 hours. More importantly, Fellowship Hall lived up to its name.
And, there was truth in advertising: Nobody had to make a whole pie. Only a few key people came knowing exactly what their job would be. The rest of us just showed up with willing hands and willing hearts.

And isn't that a metaphor for our Christian journeys, too? We may not know exactly what "job" we'll be called to do today. But we do know the ultimate goal. 

For more photos, "like" Stafford First United Methodist Church on Facebook (as if I haven't given you enough.)


  1. This all looks like so much fun. It seems especially appropriate to Terry & I since we are in the final prep stages of our church's holiday market that is tomorrow & Saturday. I love the fellowship & fun that happens when many hands work together toward a common goal. After seeing all the pies, I'm anxious to check out all the food that will be available when we go to the market for some shopping time. I may even try to do some Christmas shopping since there will be over 100 vendors with loads of tempting wares. Thanks again for reminding us all of the ways we can serve everyday.

    1. Your holiday market sounds wonderful. Getting a jump on Christmas shopping sounds like a good plan. I need to get busy making cookies and breads for the packaged food part of the bazaar. I have to play piano at school next week, so I really need to get started getting items in the freezer today or tomorrow. (But here I am ... still on the computer.) I hope your market is a great success!

  2. Kim,
    I remember past years when you have blogged about the Church pie making day. It looks like fun. I love that the men jump right in and help too. I'm sure there was lots of visiting at their table. It warms my heart to see several generations involved in this activity.

    J and I got home from town yesterday in the mid afternoon. By the time we got all that fencing material unloaded it was 5:30. J made a trip over to Cousin T's and I took the dogs for a walk to the mailbox (our driveway is a little over a mile long). The clouds, lighting, sky and sunset was amazing. The western sky clouds were underlayed with pink and orange. The eastern sky was turquoise. Not blue but specifically turquoise. No camera and by the time I got home it was dark.

    On my walk I was thinking about my Christian calling and life journey. What I am doing to fulfill the earthly task God calls of me. Great minds think alike. :)

    I finished my book today; I think you would like it. Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany.

  3. The pie making day has definitely changed in the years since I've been at the church. It used to be women only. I think it's great that it's changed to include the guys. They seem to enjoy the fellowship, too. It's also evolved because of people's schedules. With more women working outside the home, scheduling on a Sunday after church just makes more sense.

    The sky sounds amazing. Sorry you didn't have your camera, but I hope it will continue to inspire you (kind of like my blood moon experience).

    I will look for the book. I love recommendations from people I know. Thanks!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Robyn! I appreciate you!!