Deacon breaks out in hives

Posted on August 18, 2009
 The Rev Jackie Cherry was ordained as a deacon in June of this year and her ministry is buzzing. With the assistance of a $750 grant from the Celtic Cross Society, a missionary outreach organization managed by students of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Cherry and another member of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco Lauren Dietrich have each set up bee hives in their urban backyards.

In a letter to the vestry of St. John the Evangelist, Cherry wrote “I am happy to report that I have a healthy and very productive beehive in my backyard on Potrero Hill.”

The plan is for Cherry and Dietrich to sell the honey that their bees produce and to use the funds to support the Julian Pantry, St. John’s weekly food pantry. “While we won’t have a mother lode of honey this year,” Cherry wrote to the vestry, “Lauren and I believe that once our colonies are established, our two beehives will generate about $2000 annually for the Julian Pantry.”

These Episcopal beekeepers hope to build a network of backyard hives to include members of the South-of-Market Area Ministry congregations, Julian Pantry volunteers and participants, and interested neighborhood residents. “The beehives will facilitate education and cross-pollination within the many communities and cultures that are part of Julian Pantry,” Cherry wrote. “We may even be able to process beeswax for use in Paschal Candles. This project will honor God’s creation, build stronger community, and raise funds to feed the hungry in our neighborhood.”