Trinity Hot Lunch: Reenvisioning a Ministry
There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
For more than 20 years Grace Church volunteers have been serving a hot lunch to the hungry and underfed in the Central West End neighborhood of Trinity Episcopal Church. Every second Sunday of the month, Grace parishioners cook and serve a hot meal to approximately 75 men, women and children.
Grace member Chris Kurth has been involved in our Trinity Hot Lunch Ministry since 2010 -- first as an assistant, and then as the chef and lead coordinator of the ministry. After eight years, Chris is ready to dedicate his time to other ministries and we are looking for new leaders to continue this important ministry for our community.
“I didn’t know the cooking techniques, recipes, or kitchen appliances when I took on the responsibility for the Trinity meal, but I knew how to ask questions,” Chris said. And now in preparation for the next leader, Chris has combined all he’s learned about the ministry into a step-by-step cooking procedures binder in the church office.
“This is like a ‘turn-key’ operation where you can walk into a setup and path made straight for you by the experience of others,” Chris said. “No fear!”
Over the years, Chris has helped organize this service ministry in to a well-oiled machine. Outreach Chairs Vince and Michele Nicosia do the grocery shopping each month. And each month a different Grace Church committee volunteers to help serve the meal, forming an assembly plate/food line in the Trinity parish hall. And then there are months with “open signups” that promote whole families getting involved in a teachable moment for youngsters and a bonding time for parents and adults.
There’s no doubt Chris is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill! His management of this ministry has been fantastic! On the surface, this may seem like a huge ministry to take on. But it is far from a one-man or one-woman show! Fr. Todd McDowell has met with Chris and along with Outreach Chairs Vince and Michele Nicosia to re-imagine what this ministry might look like. They hope to involve many people in many different ways:
- Volunteer Coordinator: Someone to line up ministry teams and volunteers to serve the meal at Trinity, along with others to help clean up the kitchen at Grace.
- Cooking Team: A group of people willing to take on the cooking responsibilities, one month at a time.
As Chris and probably anyone who has ever served in this ministry will tell you, the rewards are far greater than the work. “The smiles of elementary grade school youngsters (yes, some of Trinity’s clients are children) as they get extra Oreo cookies from the line server just can’t be beat. The many ‘thank you’ and expressions of gratitude from adults who are getting one of the best meals of their day and maybe of their whole week are so genuine in these days of cultural self-centeredness and vacant good manners.”
Chris will continue to lead this ministry through the end of 2018. We are grateful beyond words to Chris for his years of service, leadership and genuine love for this ministry. “The clients down at Trinity I helped feed are a phenomenal.. holy…a distinctive group of men, women, and children, Chris reflects. “And looking back at all these groups, it’s easy for me to realize that I wasn’t involved so much in a food ministry as I was involved in a people ministry. And I got back more than I gave. In the end, I was the one who was fed the true food.”
Be a part of the new Trinity Hot Lunch Team!
We hope to have a new leadership team in place by early fall 2018. Our goal is to allow the new volunteers to work with Chris before he leaves the ministry. We want our parish to seamlessly continue this important ministry to the hungry in our community.