St. Luke’s Hosts Paul Bunyan Day To Provide Firewood For Those In Need

BEMUS POINT – Mankind and nature often do battle, but on Saturday, the volunteers from St. Luke’s were merely providing a service to the community.

On Saturday morning, a group of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church volunteers and members of the community celebrated their annual Paul Bunyan Day by chopping wood to benefit those in need.

The group gathered at 9 a.m. in the midst of the forest, cut up felled trees and stacked a multitude of wood piles.

As is tradition, the wood will be donated to families and community members in need of warmth during the winter.

Rev. Luke Fodor, rector of St. Luke’s, said the day shows stewardship in action, but also provides a fun day for the volunteers to bond.

“(The church) has done this for 12-15 years, and (they’ve) done it as a way to provide wood for those who need to heat their homes,” Fodor said. “We are out here using God’s creation to provide stewardship.”

He said the outdoorsy outing used to be only for men, where they would have a full communion, or the Lord’s Supper and fellowship to help create stronger ties among them. This year, Fodor said they opened the event up to everyone.

While the wind was cold and the work was hard, he said the volunteers enjoyed themselves immensely. Approximately eight volunteers were helping with the timber, while two others were preparing a meal, Fodor said.

He added it was difficult to know whether to have the event or not with the forecast, but it all went well in spite of the cold.

“It was snowing this morning, but it’s all good fun,” he said, adding it is a refreshing occasion to experience the outdoors and build comradery.

Dan Anderson, former Jamestown Community College biology professor, owns the land the group works on every year and said he is more than happy to share the bounty of nature with those in need.

“My father-in-law was Dr. Albert Brown, and we came up with the idea together. We thought this was a win-win (situation),” Anderson said. “We have a lot of fun doing it, and last year, we had a family we got through the winter with the wood we cut. You know what last winter was like.”

He said spreading good will and helping those in need is an important endeavor that he is glad to be a part of.

“We came up this spring and felled the trees so they were dry to burn,” Anderson said. “I’m very careful with the cutting because I don’t want to damage the woodland. It’s all very organized.”

He said he owns 68 acres of land which includes a small cabin, a wide spread of woodland, wetlands and a pond. Anderson said he hopes to donate 32 acres to the Watershed Conservancy, if they can accept it.

“Some of the land only a biologist can love,” he said with a laugh.

Wandering through the trees, Anderson spotted another tree that had uprooted and set the men to work on it.

“It’s like God had a plan, (saying) ‘You’ve got too many saws and not enough wood, so I’m going to give you so more,'” he said.

The volunteers took a break from their work around noon to gather around the fire for lunch. Anderson said after all the wood had been cut and stacked, there was a rumor that some of the volunteers were going fishing in his pond. “They asked if they could bring their poles, and I said, ‘Why not?'” he said. “Might as well make a day of it.”

Fodor said if anyone is in need of firewood for the winter, they are asked to call Christine Kibbe of Love, INC at 338-9828.


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