MORE THAN A MEAL – First in Outreach By Edith Heller, Outreach Committee


Since 2001 More Than A Meal has become the signature outreach program for Grace St. Luke’s.  This ministry of hospitality and dignity on Sunday afternoon: the program provides a hot, sit down 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.  Over a year, we host nearly 5,000 poor, elderly, disenfranchised and homeless with 10,000 plates of food cooked by volunteers.  Outreach provides Vestry funds of $8,000 to support the ministry.

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”.

Volunteers assemble first at 3:15 to pray that we can share Christ’s love that is in our hearts and can see the Christ in each of our guests. Our 30 cooking volunteers come from 5 churches and “I come to serve” says Chi Chi or because “Barbara asked me” says Emily. Our 4th Sunday kitchen team even got personalized aprons.

We are blessed with 33 leaders (captains, lead cooks, dishwashers, security). 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.  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!

June 17th will be a special MTAM as GSL Vestry is hosting the Sunday meal. Julia McDonald is coordinating the event with Kurt Patton and Steven King smoking BBQ.  Vestry members along with Outreach members will serve and cleanup. Come join the holy hospitality at 3:15 to 5:00.

We especially need extra volunteers during summer months. Special needs are: suntan lotion, lip balm, deodorant, soap, razors and paperback books.  Please bring to church office or when you come to volunteer on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m.

To volunteer, contact Team Captain:
1st Sunday: Jayne Hartsell   peeko831 [at] gmail [dot] com
2nd Sunday: Mike Davis  mwdavisii [at] gmail [dot] com
3rd Sunday: Ruthie Lentz rlentz [at] comcast [dot] net
4th Sunday: Edith Heller hrheller3 [at] comcast [dot] net
5th Sunday: Murray McKay murraymckay [at] comcast [dot] net.

Come hear the Prayers of the People as our guests thank God for health, family, jobs, Jesus, and Grace-St. Luke’s More Than A Meal.