Saturday, March 01, 2014

Inn-Spirational



The six weeks of daily meals served under the auspices of Inn from the Cold at Bridge St. United Church has come to an end. Last evening was the final meal of forty two, although our frozen meal program called Thank God It's Friday will continue throughout the year.

During these six weeks we have included Inn-spirational Moments each Sunday during worship to remind our folk of this essential ministry. Of course many members of the congregation already know the story firsthand, because they are active volunteers amongst the 170 involve in the program. These volunteers are so diligent and not a single meal has been cancelled during this stormy and unpredictable winter.

Two of the brief presentations have been about food insecurity, the precarious reality that many people in our wealthy nation are iffy about the source of their next meal. It's not that this group goes hungry every day. But they may miss meals, or make choices between essentials because limited dollars can only be stretched so far.

Ruth and I have talked to guests at the meals and heard about that insecurity. A limited pension and rising rent makes IFTC a godsend for one woman. Taking in the girlfriend of a teen son means that the parents coming to IFTC for a free meal allows a few extra dollars to satisfy teen appetites. Grandparents provide a home for a sweet little grandson with autism because the daughter is not coping, so they swallow their pride and come to INTC together to fill up on the nourishing meals. We are struck by the openness and cheerfulness of people who could be raging against a system which keeps them at the margins.

Inn from the Cold and TGIF make a difference, but they are not a solution to food insecurity, of not being certain that there will be enough on the table on any given day. As people of the Christ who made sure there was enough for both body and spirit, we can maintain our commitment to these meal ministries and do so much more.

2 comments:

Judy Mcknight said...

I think if we ever decided to extend this ministry, this would be the winter to do it !

Frank said...

The other side of this program is the sense of fulfillment and fellowship that the crews of volunteers get to create with one another. This is really important. Just last night I attended a small potluck gathering of folk who worked together on a food prep shift. The sense of connection was really superb; all because of the common cause to do the work that we need to be doing.
We are able to build community and engage with those who seek worthwhile commitment, outside the usual opportunities for worship. In this way the church can maintain a vital presence and build together, a real win-win for everyone.