The gift of hospitality

As a child I spent countless hours in my grandmother’s kitchen watching her cook and bake. While she certainly kept our family well-fed, she also shared the fruits of her labor with many others in our church and community.  My grandmother spent many hours making and beautifully decorating cake squares for bridal and baby showers.  Anytime a meal was needed, she was willing to provide.  And for many years, she headed up the Bereavement Committee, a group of ladies who provided meals for families following funerals. As soon as she heard of someone’s passing, she would pull out her church directory and her list of volunteers and start making calls to organize the meal.  She definitely had a gift for cooking and baking, and throughout her life it was her way of caring for and showing love to others.  

I have only in recent years realized the full significance of my grandmother’s work.  I never thought of her cooking and baking as stewardship.  You see, I only equated stewardship with giving money to the church. While stewardship is about giving of our financial resources, it’s not solely about money.  Webster’s Dictionary defines stewardship as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” The Lord entrusts to our care not only our treasure, but also our time and talents. My grandmother didn’t have significant financial resources at her disposal.  However, what she did have was her time and talent – both of which she consistently used throughout her life to show God’s love to others, simply by sharing food.  

No matter what we are able to contribute financially to All Saints’, whether a little or a lot, we all can be good stewards of our time and talent.  At All Saints’ there are many opportunities to give of our time and talent and to serve God in unexpected ways.  And yes, some of those ways just happen to involve food.  

Do you have a special dish that you have perfected and that your family loves? Consider contacting Liz Rogers to add your name to the list of folks who are willing to prepare a meal for members who are recovering from surgery or illness.  When a need arises, you will receive an email for a “Take Them A Meal” link that allows you to sign up to deliver a meal at a date and time that is convenient for you.  Or perhaps consider answering the call when Susan Yelton requests kitchen volunteers for outreach events or when Pam Collier seeks assistance with a reception for a special event or funeral. Not a great cook or baker?  Your time will be highly valued in the kitchen – especially when help is needed setting up and cleaning up.

Other opportunities abound from assisting with coffee hour to volunteering to prepare and serve meals at the Night Shelter. You can help as little or as much as you want.  Your contribution may seem small or even insignificant to you, but in fact, your time and talents are perhaps the most valuable gifts you can give. 

-Jennifer Cook