At first glance, Chanceford Presbyterian Church located in Airville, PA, is just your average church located among the rolling farmland of southern York County, PA. But a closer look reveals that the fields that surround the church building and adjacent social hall are more than just some local farmer’s crops. They are, in fact, the Lord’s Acre.
Each year, the Chanceford Church, through the congregation’s volunteers, harvests the corn, wheat or soybeans that grow in the fields, selling them to local farmers or “grain brokers.” In return, the money received for the goods is used to support individuals and families in the community and other initiatives worldwide.
“The Lord’s Acre ministry is one of Chanceford’s quiet, behind-the-scenes mission programs,” said Pastor Beth Appel. “It continues year after year with little fanfare, yet generates thousands of dollars annually, which are put to good use in funding both overseas programs like Heifer International and local projects for neighbors in need. People in the community know they can rely on the Chanceford congregation to provide assistance during natural disasters (like a recent flood) and in situations of personal crisis. Families in this community have lived here for generations; they know one another and are committed to caring for one another and offering help when needed.”
The money for the seeds, fertilizer and spray material comes from the previous year’s profits, which is usually around $3,500 but has been as much as nearly $6,000 in years past.