The Community Dinners are held on the second Tuesday of the month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. We are collaborating our advertising with Zion Lutheran Church (third Tuesday) and the United Methodist Church (second Wednesday) for the free dinners in our Marshall community .
Loaves & Fishes Community Dinner
They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. - Matthew 14:17-21
Okay, the community dinners don’t feed 5000 people. However, I marvel at watching how the individual ingredients combine to create a meal that can feed many. Even though the dinners were entirely stopped during Covid, the months that followed have slowly increased the numbers to over 80 for some evenings. Those who can’t attend do a takeout version. If there are leftovers, diners can takeout for a friend or for their lunch the next day.
No one does this alone and we have been blessed with many volunteers. To name them all would be difficult and inevitably exclude someone worthy of praise. We will say how grateful we have been to the wonderful parish family members who donated their time and made the dinners possible. Whether they provide setup for the dining room, provide ingredients for the meal, help with the preparation and serving, bring a salad or dessert to share, or even take the lead for a meal, all efforts are so greatly appreciated by myself and the many.
Watching people enjoy the meal and enjoy each other’s company brings such a feeling of satisfaction I wish I could share with more people. I have seen people welcome a stranger to their table and have long conversations. I have seen groups of elderly friends meet and laugh together not having to worry about fixing a lonely meal for one. I’ve witnessed young families, tired from the day at work, have a meal for their children ready and filling.
I encourage you to attend, participate, and/or assist in this joyful ministry and rejoice in God’s love in combining simple ingredients to feed many.
Lord, some people have food and not friends.
Some people have friends and no food.
We thank you that on this night we have both.
Julie Kaminski – Loaves and Fishes Chairperson