Cathedral News, June 18, 2017


When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”   Matthew 9:36-38

Earlier this week, I noticed a woman sitting under the tree in the Cathedral’s small yard on Silver.  Our homeless neighbors regularly cool off on the grass and this day I stopped to take in what was happening.  There were two children, probably around five and seven years old, sitting next to the woman as she read a storybook to the kids while they ate food from our sack lunch ministry.

I thought how this was a scene in which many of us might have been characters – parents reading to our children as they have a snack.  Except this family had no safe home in which to do this.  But that wasn’t stopping this woman from being a good mother.  In the middle of a hot summer day, she had a restful meal in the cool shade with her kids before heading back into the stress of the streets.

Granted, this scene isn’t the norm.  Our front desk ministers give lunches to people who may not even stop to say, “thank you.”  Sometimes the folks are downright rude, which I can understand – I probably wouldn’t be a very pleasant person if I had to live on the streets.  But that doesn’t matter really.  We don’t know the stories of the folks who get a small brown sack of Vienna sausages, cheese crackers, a fruit cup, a protein bar and bottle of water.  But we do know that without this simple meal they would probably go hungry during the day.

Our front desk ministers are there Monday through Thursday 9 to 4 and on Friday from 9 to noon.  They answer the phones and give out an average of 350 lunches every week — sometimes many more!  And when they run short, they’re busy assembling more sacks of food for our homeless and hungry neighbors.

Each sack lunch costs about $1.60 and the ministry is funded primarily by proceeds from St John’s Gift Shop.  However, when funds run dry we have to turn people away.

During Pentecost, we are asking you please to take time to prayerfully consider how you can support this or any of the more than 30 ministries at the Cathedral.  The front desk ministry is only one of the many ways we are being good stewards of God’s abundant gifts and fulfilling our mission of “Building Up the Body of Christ for the Work of the Gospel.”

  • Can you assemble sack lunches before or after church on Sundays?
  • During the summer, could you or your family volunteer a morning or afternoon to be a front desk minister?
  • Can you make an additional financial gift designated to the front desk ministry?

We don’t ask questions so you never know when you might be giving a small family some relief from their hunger and a brief respite during a hot day to share a simple meal and read a story.

Read the rest of the announcements.