TREASURE, TIME, VOICE: SPOTLIGHT ON NATIONAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHFor more than a decade, The National Presbyterian Church has been a strong supporter and faith-based partner of Martha’s Table. Martha’s Table President and CEO Patty Stonesifer spoke with Reverend Donna Marsh, Associate Pastor for Serve Ministries, to learn more about the church and its special connection to Martha’s Table.
What does National Presbyterian Church’s support of Martha’s Table look like?
We provide volunteers, in-kind donations, and monetary support. I love that we involve kids and adults of all ages. One Sunday each month, our congregation works together to make about 800 sandwiches—over 8,000sandwicheseachyear! Our volunteers also chop vegetables int he Martha’s Table kitchen, work at Martha’s Markets, and deliver meals on McKenna’s Wagon. Our youth group also does a service project preparing hot lasagnas for Martha’s Table while you are busy preparing your Thanksgiving meal. We also hold monthly food drives for specific items, a kids’ book drive, and a coat drive. Our financial support includes an annual grant and occasional support for special projects.
When I talk to people about how to get involved in social change, I say we all have three assets: our treasure, our time, and our voice. So many people use only one of those: they might be a grant maker, or they might do direct service, or they might be advocating for change. But National Presbyterian Church has chosen, individually and collectively, to use all three.
At National Presbyterian Church, we want to put our faith into action by loving our neighbors, and we want to educate our congregation about what our neighbors need and why. This empowers them to use their treasure, time, and voices. We love that Martha’s Table is about much more than instantaneous relief—your holistic approach addresses child care, education, family support, health, nutrition, and other needs. We can’t do all of that on our own, but together we can have a big impact.
We talk a lot about impact here. And part of talking about impact marries up with your words about education. We’re educating ourselves, and making strides to shift from a straight anti-hunger organization to an anti- hunger and healthy eating organization. You all have been great about changing with us; you’ve even changed the foods you donate to us! And you’ve been eager about one of our biggest changes ever: expanding to Ward 8.
The nature of the issues Martha’s Table works on is always changing, and what we know about the most effective ways to meet peoples’ needs is always changing. We’ve had a deep history with Martha’s Table in Northwest D.C., and we are committed to maintaining that relationship since you will have an ongoing presence in this area. But we are also excited to go with you to Ward 8, where need is greatest, so that we can have the greatest impact!