MORE THAN A MEAL
Every Sunday, Grace-St. Luke's More Than A Meal invites the homeless and hungry to dine in our parish hall with parishioners and other members of the community. Since 2001 More Than A Meal has become the signature outreach program for Grace St. Luke’s. This ministry of hospitality and dignity provides a nourishing meal, music, prayers and conversations for over 100 guests each week at 4:00 pm. It is a joyful way to serve the Lord in the Gospel imperative to feed the hungry. Each year we host nearly 5,000 poor, elderly, disenfranchised and homeless guests with 10,000 plates of food supplied. Ministry expenses average $10,000 per year, provided by Vestry allocation and community gifts.
The goals of the MTAM ministry include:
Becoming instruments of God's love in our community as we get to know our less fortunate neighbors;
Assisting those people suffering from economic hardship;
Developing the bonds of friendship and trust to encourage our friends in their struggles with mental illness and addiction; and
Learning the lessons of faith for ourselves which our guests have learned from their own life experience.
We share this ministry with cooking volunteers from Church of the Holy Communion, All Saints' Episcopal Church, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Church of the Holy Apostles, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Door of Hope, and Idlewild Presbyterian Church.
We are blessed with 33 regular volunteers (captains, lead cooks, dishwashers, security detail). The 10 to 15 Sunday servers set up, serve plates, collect prayers, pass out desserts, keep coffee and water glasses filled, and serve seconds for 12 – 14 tables of guests , then cleanup the kitchen and Trezevant Hall. The guests' prayers have a place of honor on the altar during the GSL 5:30 p.m. service. “I like the people, we talk and laugh”, says Dana and Tiger as they give out nametags. All total about 685 volunteers work at MTAM during the year. That’s a lot of Christ love!
MTAM has become its own Christian community filled with God’s love, fellowship and a shared dinner. James said “I like it here – the Peace is here”. Terrance says “good plates and good fellowship”. Lewis and Patricia agree on the good food but love “the MTAM attitude and respect to God”. Ray says that at other places people fight, but “here we share respect to God and our friends”.
Every single Sunday - all year long - you will find Trezevant Hall a center of holy hospitality as our More Than A Meal ministry provides food, companionship and prayer for those in need. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed whether for a single Sunday or on a regular basis. We set up between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., and meals are served between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. This is also a meaningful way for students to earn Community Service Hours, as Jonathan Small of the MUS faculty can attest. The many hands that make this ministry happen Sunday after Sunday come from many churches. To learn more or to volunteer for a particular Sunday, see the list below.
1st Sunday: Jonathan Large ( Jonathan.Large [at] musowls [dot] org ) Team Captain.
2nd Sunday: Mike Davis (mwdavis [at] gmail [dot] com) Team Captain.
3rd Sunday: Ruthie Lentz (rlentz [at] comcast [dot] net) (rlentz [at] comcast [dot] net) Team Captain
4th Sunday: Edith Heller (hrheller3 [at] comcast [dot] net) (hrheller3 [at] comcast [dot] net) Team Captain
5th Sunday: Murray McKay (murraymckay [at] comcast [dot] net) (murraymckay [at] comcast [dot] net) Team Captain
Please visit Volunteer Your Time & Talent to learn more about helping this or any other GSL Outreach Ministry.