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Faith and Hunger: Ruth

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Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

Possible ways to use this playlist:

  • Share with families to use on their own – perhaps after church to reflect on worship
  • Use as a “Sunday School” or kids ministry time either in person or online
    • If using in-person – read the story together, use the wondering questions for discussion and to go deeper, bake the bread, read the book(s), and talk about how your group can take action against hunger, end with a blessing
    • If using online – read the story or invite kids to act out the story (can someone bring bread or fish or baskets or… props to help tell the story – or have a scavenger hunt for kids to find those object or objects that can be substitutes); talk about a question or two, choose one of the activities, or use one of your own, use the prayer or your own, and end with a blessing
  • Use the Bible story and questions as a devotional at a gathering with families and then invite families to go deeper with the prayer list on their own.
  • Invite small groups to use the playlist together (could be an intergenerational group, family groups, etc.)


Gleaning, according to Wikipedia, is “the act of collecting leftover crops from farmer’s fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.” In the Old Testament gleaning is mentioned as a law to help provide for the poor in many of the kingdoms. While the practice of gleaning may seem today as offering the least amount of effort to help feed those in need, it can help people to think about what they might be able to offer from their own “harvest” for those in to “glean”. We do not need to be insanely rich to be able to help feed people. Every little bit does help. And there are many ways that we can help feed people, from physically to spiritually and other ways. The concept of gleaning in our world today could help lead people to the understanding that if we pool our individual smaller resources together, we can have a greater impact in the world. (Rev. Michael Vollmer)

Bible Story

  • Read the story about Ruth gleaning from Ruth 2 in your Bible or favorite Bible Story Book.
  • Explore the map of the Moab and Israel. Find Moab. Find Bethlehem. Trace a path north along the Dead Sea, across the Jordan River, and to Bethlehem. That’s likely the route that Ruth and Naomi took.
  • Wonder about the story together:
    • What surprises did you hear in the story?
    • I wonder if you have ever been in a new place and weren’t sure what you were going to eat.
    • When was a time you had to work really hard?
    • What do you wonder about this story?
    • I wonder how God was working in this story.
    • I wonder what God is calling you to do next?
  • Prayer:
    • Dear God, thank you for stories in the Bible that show us about caring for one another and how you care for us. Thank you for people who grow food, deliver food, and run stores and food banks so we have access to food. Help us to care for our earth and our bodies as we are mindful of what we eat. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Grow in Your Faith Together

Naomi and Ruth trusted God as they traveled to Bethlehem and found a way to eat! There are people across the world, the United States, Michigan, even in your community. We read stories from the Bible to learn about God, Jesus, and our faith. The stories from the Bible can also inspire us to take action! To notice when there are people who are hurting, hungry, or sad and to be with people. Sometimes that means learning, taking action, or advocating. The activities in this playlist offer ways to deepen our faith through a spiritual practice, a way to learn about hunger, and a way to take action.

Spiritual Practice

Creation Care and Gardening

  • Go on a nature walk and notice what foods are available to all kinds of animals – bugs, grass, flowers, leaves, seeds, etc. Talk about how God cares for all of God’s creation. Talk about how we are entrusted to care for God’s creation too. You might even pick up trash as you walk as a way to care for creation.
  • Get a copy of the book The Hopeful Family: Raising Resilient Children in Uncertain Times by Amelia Richardson Dress. Chapter 4 of the book focuses on Sharing the Table. Dress writes about the connection between food and spirit – including gardening.

If you have a garden (indoors or outdoor), use this blessing as a prayer for your garden.

blessing for the garden

Learn About Hunger

Pick one of the Learning Lab activities from Kids Food Basket to learn about food and healthy lifestyle habits.

Kids' Food Basket

Take Action

Pick one of the nature/environment activities  from kidsgardening.org (grown-ups can narrow down the topics such as food donation or nutrition on the left side toolbar if you want to narrow it down and relate the activity to hunger).

If you have a garden, donate produce to a local food pantry or food bank (check with them first to make sure they accept donations).

Learn more about hunger and ways that you can take action here.



The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown

Purchase the book here

What Grew in Larry’s Garden

by Laura Alary

Purchase the book here

Our Little Kitchen

by Jillian Tamaki

Purchase the book here

Music Videos