Evangelism at Saint Michael and All Angels is offered through a cup of coffee, a cookie, caring conversation, a book, and a bag of food at the I AM food ministry. Our evangelism through hospitality is simple. We offer our guests an opportunity to come in and sit for a minute, have a cookie and cup of coffee and tell us about what’s going on in their life. We know most everybody by name and we truly care about what is going on in their life. They tell us about their families, their health, and often about their troubles, and we add their names to our prayer list and pray for them. When possible we connect them to services to help with their needs. We also have a book mobile where our guests can take free books home to read. Our food pantry name “ I AM” comes from the scripture in Matthew: In As Much as you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me. We take this special evangelism through hospitality very seriously.
Our food pantry started small but has grown into a thriving ministry of hospitality supported by many. We never run out of guests and amazingly, by God’s Grace, we never run out of food. It’s like the story of the loaves and fishes. We pray and it multiplies. On the second Sunday of each month we have a food ingathering. We bless the food that is so graciously given by our parishioners. So far this year we have given out 1,976 bags of food which nourished 5,502 people, some of whom live in tents only steps from St. Michael’s front door. We also make hearty warm soup which has fed five hundred people.
To help us with our work we have several partners in our community. Through the effort of one of our parishioners, her eleven member Federal Express office supplied us with eighty-seven bags of food. This food, combined with contributions from our congregation and what we acquired from Second Harvest, allowed us to give out one hundred and forty-one Thanksgiving meals. Girl Scout troop 30113, another great benefactor, generously gave us boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to put in the Thanksgiving bags. Recently the Girl Scouts also sponsored a very successful winter coat and accessory distribution for our food pantry guests. Also, our neighbor, Don Callahan and his Real Estate colleagues are very generous and work with us to support our food ministry.
In December we held a YARD FREE (a very very affordable yard sale). On December 15th, in our parish hall we held our first Yard Free items available were free or cost more than a quarter. Clothing, small appliances, dishes, linens and so much more filled our parish hall. Coffee and donuts were served. Many of our pantry guests were able to do Christmas Shopping that otherwise they may not have been able to do.
All of this and more is our way of showing God’s love in our community. Everyone at St. Michael and All Angels is involved in some way; from bringing food, to volunteering as a greeter, preparing food, bagging food, book keeping, and praying for our guests. Truly, it takes each one of us. The love that radiates from our ministry of food touches the hearts of everyone who comes into contact with us and especially the least among us.
Please keep our food ministry in your prayers.
In God’s love
Saint Michael and All Angel