Saturday, January 09, 2016

Five & Two


That is the final figure for the number of meals shared through the two meal ministries which happen out of Bridge St. United Church in 2015. We have a dedicated leadership team and wonderful volunteers -- more than 150 of them. What they do is remarkable. And both Inn from the Cold and Thank God Its Friday happen out of the Bridge St. physical plant.

The same is the case for the lunch programs sponsored by St Matthew's and Eastminster United Churches in Belleville. It is a no-brainer in some respects. We have the three buildings in different locations, with kitchens. So we use them to deliver meals to the hungry. Of course we don't actually deliver. Folk have to figure out how to get to us, and all three churches are in the south end of the city, not that far from each other.

Are there ways to be more responsive to the needs of our guests, who often have limited transportation? Honestly, we might not be able to consider anything other than what we are currently undertaking, but it is inspiring to hear and read about what others are doing.

A United Methodist congregation in the States has developed a meal ministry called Five & Two, employing a food truck to allow them to be mobile. On their website they describe what they do this way

In the Gospels, Jesus feeds thousands of people using only five loaves and two fishes.  This story has inspired the name of this exciting new ministry:  Five & Two:  A Street Food Ministry of Arlington Heights United Methodist Church.  This ministry feeds not only the physical needs of the hungry in our community, but also provides a vehicle to share the Gospel with those who hunger spiritually.We have partnered with community leaders to address the needs of our neigbhors as we reach out to offer a warm and healthy meal and a chance to connect  with others in a real and meaningful way.

I wonder if they have a speaker system to play music beckoning people to the truck, like an old-time ice cream truck? What would they play -- the hymn "Travel On, Travel On" maybe?

However we do the math of ministry, we are called to be responsive to the needs of those around us in Christ's name. God bless all who do so.


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