A Matthew 25 Course - "Underpinnings of Systemic Poverty"




The verse Matthew 25:31 - 46 invites Christians to actively engage in the world around them so that their faith comes alive. Inspired by this passage, both the 222nd and the 223rd General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church USA, implored  Presbyterians to act boldly and compassionately to serve hungry, oppressed, imprisoned and poor people.   

Stony Point Center is working in collaboration with Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary to develop an online curriculum to support the Matthew 25 vision. The second Matthew 25 course, "Underpinnings of Systemic Poverty," is an introductory course offering a basic overview of the implications of the political and economic systems that enforce structures of poverty. Together, facilitators of the course and participants explore the challenges of the "pull yourself up from your bootstraps" philosophy rampant in our society. It gives participants a lens through which they can better understand the underlying forces at work in communities that are disproportionately poor. The course is designed for those for whom the concept of systemic poverty is relatively new and for those who would like to better understand the intersections between class and other forms of systematized oppression. 

"Underpinnings of Systemic Poverty" will be offered Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. ET from September 21 to October 12, 2020. Registration is open now until September 18. If you have further questions, please reach out to Richard Ufford-Chase, co-director of Stony Point Center, rick@stonypointcenter.org 

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Ask Chef Donna: Stony Point Center Farm Carrot Cake







Bugs Bunny would be so excited to be here at Stony Point Center this summer because the carrots grown here are abundant, beautiful, and delicious! One of my favorite desserts is traditional, old fashion carrot cake. When our farmers Amirah and Will delivered their just picked farm carrots to the kitchen this week, that's exactly what I baked. I like to prepare carrot cake in mini loaf pans. It's a great way to portion out my cake... some for now, and easy to freeze to have for later. Although I do love traditional creamed cheese frosting on carrot cake, I didn't want to add icing so that I could enjoy the true carrot taste in my cake. Served for breakfast as you would a coffee cake or dessert after a meal; carrot cake, prepared with fresh farm carrots, is among everyone's favorites. Try it and see for yourself!


As always, if you have any questions, look for me at the Farmstand on Thursday or email me at askchefdonna@stonypointcenter.org - Donna Costa, Lead Chef, Stony Point Center


Stony Point Center Farm Carrot Cake 

Yields two medium or one large carrot loaf cakes 

Preheat oven to 320



1 ½ cups vegetable oil (I used safflower oil) 

2 cups white sugar 

4 eggs 

2 cups unbleached white flour 

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 

3 ¼ cups grated carrots 

Cooking spray to prepare baking pans 


Let's get Cooking 

  1. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. 
  2. Mix sugar, oil and eggs together in a mixer or blend by hand with a hand mixer or a whisk.  
  3. Mix very well. Slowly stir in flour mixture. 
  4. Fold in shredded carrots.  
  5. Place cake batter into prepared baking pans 
  6. Bake carrot cakes until the cake's internal temperature is 180 degrees or a toothpick, when placed in the center of the cake, comes out clean. Depending on the size of your pans, this could take 40-60 minutes. 

"It's your dish!" 

Substitutions/additions to make it your own 

  1. Any size will do! You can make your cake into any size - mini muffins, cupcakes, one large loaf, or a round cake. Be sure to remember to use an instant-read thermometer or toothpick to check that your cake is done. The time your cake will take to bake will be determined by the size of your pan. Avoid over baking as your cake will be dry. 
  2. You can add chopped walnuts to your cake just after folding in the carrots. 
  3. You can add a tablespoon of real vanilla to your cake or as a substitution for the cinnamon. 
  4. If you love cardamom's flavor, you can add a teaspoon of ground cardamom to the cake. 
  5. And of course, you can always go traditional and once cooled, top your carrot cake with creamed cheese frosting. 


1. What if you don't have time to shred your carrots by hand? In that case, either use a food processer or use shredded carrots found in many supermarkets' produce section. 

2. You don't have to peel your carrots when using them for carrot cake. Just cut both ends off and wash them well before shredding. 

3. Remember that everyone's oven is different. Especially when baking, keep an eye on your cake and check it often. A delicious cake can go from moist to dry in a matter of only a few minutes, especially when baked in small pans.