One year ago, the last time I wrote about our Community Dinners for this column, we were feeding 250 to 300 people a week. As of this writing we are feeding about 440 people a week. We are now feeding as many as 140 meals a week at the church and we deliver meals to five homeless encampments. This entire ministry still operates on an amazingly small budget, with most of the food coming from our gleaning activities. The people who gather each week to cook, serve, and clean-up have a great time together. There is a wonderful sense of mission and ministry as we lug trays of food, set out tables and chairs, and scrub giant pots.
All that we have is a gift from God, and that is very clear when we look at our community dinners. The food is saved from what would otherwise have been thrown away, even though it is still perfectly serviceable. The labor is done entirely by volunteers. The people who eat with us regularly offer help with cleaning up. There is a strong sense of community and shared caring in the dining room each week. This is how we give thanks to God for the bounty and blessings of our lives.
There is always room for more. You are welcome to help with cooking, starting around 3 PM, setting up the room, also starts at 3 PM, or you can join the excellent team that does the washing. We start washing around 6 PM and we finish by around 7:30. This is practical theology, practical discipleship, and a lived expression of gratitude to God.
Yours in Christ,