Submitted by Larry Holt
Achieving contributions of $7,300, the 2018 New Providence Crop Walk of Sunday afternoon, October 21, 2018 in spite of the high winds and mid-40s temperature, was a large success. Matching funds and other contributions are still arriving. Since 1974, the town has had this annual walk.
Planned by Faith Lutheran Church and hosted by United Methodist Church, the Crop Walk saw one-hundred eight adults and children with Crop Walk signs, plus a dog, hiking the three mile route through town. The walkers were members of area churches. The three with the largest number of walkers were the Asian Indian Christian Church of Berkeley Heights, the Sebit Presbyterian Church of Warren and Faith Lutheran of New Providence. Each had about twenty-seven walkers.
The chairperson of the Crop Walk was Mike Warin of New Providence, who is a member of Faith. He was assisted by fifteen volunteers.
Prior to the walk, Mr. Warin conducted a brief orientation. He reminded the participants that many of the world’s poor and hungry have to walk long distances for food and water and that hunger is a significant issue in the United States as well. The walkers were raising funds to help alleviate this international and national issue. Mr. Warin was followed by Bob Hasbrouck of Faith and New Providence, who instructed regarding the procedures and route of the walk. Mr. Hasbrouck has assisted with the Crop Walk since its beginning forty-four years ago.
Rev. Jane McCready of Faith read a bible scripture and conducted a responsive prayer with the group. John Everson and Courtney Auchter, accompanied by guitarist, Jim Skidmore, the three also of Faith, led the walkers in the singing of “We Are Marching in the Light of God.”
In recognition of hunger being a problem throughout the world, one of the verses was sung in Swahili.
Aroused by “We Are Marching in the Light of God,” the walkers then lifted their red and white Crop Walk signs and marched down Springfield Avenue.
Upon completion, the walkers and volunteers enjoyed ice cream at the Methodist Church. The plentiful ice cream was donated by Zita’s Home Made Ice Cream, 1790 Springfield Avenue, New Providence.
Mr. Warin expressed his gratitude to the New Providence Police Department for their special effort to protect the walkers.
All of the contributions will be donated to Church World Service, an interdenominational organization which combats hunger in the United States and around the world. The focus of Church World Service is meeting the needs of the most disadvantaged people. Church World Service will return twenty-five per cent of the money to the soup kitchen at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Newark. With the pending arrival of winter and other soup kitchens having closed, the needs of St. John’s are significant.
Persons wishing to make contributions to the Crop Walk may send their donations to Faith Lutheran Church, 524 South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974. The phone number is 908-464-5177. The web site of Faith Lutheran is famfaith.org.