Last Tuesday was a busy day at Christ Church. And yes, Christ Church is always busy, but let’s just say things were bustling in Outreach. We had 6 volunteers, some seasoned and some brand new, making 65 bag lunches in the Auditorium kitchen to be brought and served at Meade Memorial Church down the street. On the menu were homemade egg salad sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies, and lemonade. Christ Church is part of a rotation of 7 churches that take turns making and serving lunch. The hospitality that is given to our brothers and sisters during bag lunch is as important as the food itself. For many of the people who come for lunch this fellowship may be their only fellowship.

While in the volunteer office on the first floor by the front desk we had a high school age parishioner working on a spreadsheet for Hunger Free Alexandria. This spreadsheet enables us to see where the 17 member churches and organizations are succeeding, and where we still have gaps to fill in providing food to families in need in the Alexandria Community. This spreadsheet becomes the visual road map to our next steps and is a tremendous help to the Hunger Free Alexandria initiative. From it, we can see that in one year the many accomplishments that have been made and where we still have a ways to go.

Over in the Gift Shop Kathy Moore had some down time and she made up emergency food bags for people who come to us who are hungry. We like to keep a dozen on hand and we were almost out of them. These food bags contain nonperishable foods and water and a list of where to go to get meals in the City of Alexandria. They are available in the Meade Room kitchen at all times and can be given out by anyone, docents, Facilities Assistants, clergy, ushers, etc. without question. Since we started this initiative back in October we have given out 45 emergency food bags.

Meanwhile, down in the Fowler House four volunteers cleaned out the Outreach & Mission closet. They emptied everything out that had been accumulated over the years and made room for the supplies coming in for the Our Little Roses Mission trip, they inventoried the banners, they got rid of old unused stuff and made the space ready to eventually house surplus food for the Lazarus Food Pantry.

Twelve parishioners humming along, doing God’s work at the same time without knowing what the others were doing because they were on their “mission.” During all of this activity I was simply available to them, checking in, answering questions, but they had the ball and they were running with it. God’s work is happening here at Christ Church a great deal of the time, whether it is organizing a closet, enrolling people in SNAP, delivering fresh produce from the farmer’s market, creating spreadsheets, preparing sandwiches or serving those in financial crisis knee to knee.  

Peace and blessings, Melanie