- About Grace
Outreach Spotlight: Trinity Hot Lunch
On March 21, 2013
The Teens of Grace’s Confirmation Class got a taste of community service as they prepared and served a hot lunch to our neighbors in need at Trinity Episcopal Church on Sunday, March 10. Their service efforts were led by Grace member Chris Kurth, who has been a part of the Trinity Hot Lunch ministry for nearly four years.
We recently chatted with Chris about his involvement in the Trinity Hot Lunch ministry. You can see pictures from the March 10 event at the end of the interview.
Q & A with Chris:
How and why did you get involved in the Trinity Hot Lunch ministry?
Chris: I got involved as a result of being asked to help out by one of the two Grace cooks for the ministry, Mr. Terry Weir. He needed help serving food at Trinity Episcopal on one particular Sunday and I volunteered to help. There was a friend of Terry’s who also came along and together we had fun serving the food and satisfaction in seeing some hungry people get a real good meal.
Do you prepare the same meal every month?
Chris: Grace Episcopal Church is responsible for serving food at Trinity Episcopal once a month. Every second Sunday is Grace’s “turn” to serve a lunch. The same tasty meal is served every month: seasoned pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy with bread and green beans plus some sandwich cookies makes up a nice plate — a Hot Lunch! Depending on any holiday season that falls at or around the second Sunday there might be a added treat: candy canes/Christmas cookies during December; Halloween candy during October; Valentine treats during February etc. The Church School children often make up treat bags for the clients to take as they leave their meal at the Trinity Episcopal parish hall where the meals are served. They’ve included messages of Christian love and prayer that are really touching and really appreciated by the clients.
Where does the money for this food ministry come from?
Chris: The Church budget, meaning Grace parishioners, support the ministry by their pledges. Monetary contributions are welcome but participation and hands-on helping is so very appreciated. Vince and Michele Nicosia and I often contribute more than just our time to make sure all the groceries are ready each month.
What do you find rewarding about this ministry work?
Chris: The realization that in one small way I am following what Jesus said to Peter in John 21:16 (“Feed my sheep”), the smiles on the youngsters (yes, there are even children that are underfed/hungry that show up) that leave Trinity with a full stomach and a treat, and the blessings and gratitude from some of the clients as they leave the parish hall keeps me coming back to Trinity. The Hot Lunch program also gives me the opportunity to chat with the clients and to listen to their stories and to be a presence to them. I am so blessed with what I have been given in life and THL helps keep me grounded and humbled.
What lessons do you hope the confirmands learned with this service day?
Chris: The confirmands did a great job. They showed up at the times for which they volunteered and they were a positive, joyful presence in the Trinity kitchen and parish hall. Before they left Grace for Trinity I briefly prepped them on the circumstances of the hungry and underfed people that we would be serving….. that the meal which we had made together was probably for some the best meal that they would eat that day or for days on end. I shared a quote from Mahatma Ghandi: There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” You, I said to the confirmands, are that living bread. That’s what I hope they take away from THL Sunday. It’s a lesson that’s true for adults as well as teens.
How can others get involved with Trinity Hot Lunch?
Chris: Interested volunteers should look for the sign-up sheets for each month posted on the bulletin board in Albright Hall. There are months at a time, however, when specific Church groups or committees are tapped. I am trying to get major Church groups to take on a specific month each year….the Vestry in June and September; the Ushers in November and February; the Confirmation class in March…etc. So look at the sign-up sheet to see whether there are open slots or if there’s an open month. Or email me, Chris Kurth, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a slide show from the March 10 event at Trinity Episcopal Church, click on the arrow in the middle of the picture below. To see the pictures full-screen, click on the icon with the four arrows in the lower, right corner of the pictures.