Asbury Friends In Christ,
A few notes and rambles from Asbury UMC’s mission for God with Stone Soup on Sunday, April 24th.
The day’s mission was filled in my mind with references of disciples. Disciples going forth in deeds and putting to work what Jesus taught us of the greatest commandments which I’ll just use the short form to reference it > Love. Love seems such a hard thing but when you watch the given smiles, handshakes, simple sit down discussions, food prep, serving, mopping and you feel the love radiated and you know others do too, well you know God is at work.
Thank you Asbury regulars who make the day happen, new souls who felt the pull to come down and serve, our youth who just desired to assist and the confirmation class members and their mentors.
Our young hope for God’s future, Jaxon and Conner who just wanted to work. Our Confirmand’s who are stepping up to join Asbury: Julia, Lilly, Caleb, and Madeline. It was so great to have all of them here and see them as the adults they will become.
Ants. Got to love the ants industrious nature. Except maybe when all the boxes of brownies brought to us for desert & sitting on the freezer in the storeroom are covered inside and out with them. Bagged and dumped, by-by desert. Open the plastic sugar tub (also in the storeroom) and…. Ants. Bagged and dumped, container washed. (I let them know this morning that the storeroom has just a little major ant issue.)
Living Water Ministry. Have to pass on a 2-fold story. As most of you know the essence of the Living Water Ministry is to open the doors an hour early and have chairs lining the hallway for rest. The teams goal is Love. Introduce yourself and ask a person their name. Ask them if they would like a cup of water. Go hand pour a cup and bring it back to them. Sit down with them. Connect in conversation. Shine God’s love.
Doug Walker. Many of you will connect that the Lord was really working within Doug Sunday. Bell ringer, choir member, liturgist, lay preacher, confirmand mentor & stone soup worker.
There were several Asbury members working in the Living Water Ministry with great individual connections and stories in their hearts (Ask Susan, Conner, Julia, Jaxon or Lilly). Doug’s experience in my words. An older lady came in carrying her baggage. She was not in a good mood and when Doug offered to help she strongly rebuffed him, wanting to be left alone. After a restroom stop instead of coming back to the chairs she instead sat in the back of the hall, her back to everyone. Doug was moved to try again and asked Caleb to accompany him to see her. Introducing himself, Doug asked her name. Why Karen, he said, my older sister’s name is Karen. He then introduced her to Caleb. What then transpired was a flowering. Karen opened up. By the end of the service she was engaged in talking to all of us. Engaged in helping to clean tables and spread cheer. I believe the Lord worked with Karen and also in Doug, Caleb and us all.
Cooking! Hot kitchen day. You know we had a desert issue with the ants. Also were short our cans of vegetables for the Chicken & Dressing as Missy and Preston quickly learned. So, plans for both issues were devised. Even though the storage room was much lower in supplies that normal, a scrounge of corn and peas for a future service (yes, I have already notified too that we borrowed) got our C & D back on track. Thanks volunteers who brought lots of fruit to give out. We were able to ‘borrow’ all the apples and make a sweet concoction on the stove.
The confirmands got their ‘chopped basket’ of secret cooking supplies and made “Asumc Chips” = Zucchini Chips. With their assistance we maxed out the oven capacity (all racks removed) and Preston finally had to get stove creative to finish out the meal. We also maxed out the dirty pan quota and the wash crew (thank you leader Chris) was maxed out pretty much the whole service.
Thanks all who chopped, stirred, cooked and served Chicken, Dressing, Asumc Chips, Fruit Salad (which morphed into a desert), the apple concoction (which was also a desert). Thanks to all who set up, flowered and worked the hall, drink table, trash, and herding.
It was a 1st too to provide emergency care lite. We had a lady who had badly sprained an ankle before the surface (out in the streets). Glad we now carry a 1st Aid Kit. She made it to a seat and as the serving started we iced and wrapped her gnarly looking swollen ankle as people swirled around us and Jaxon made sure to bring her food and drink.
As service went on volunteers went table to table delivering a large number of donated bananas as the crew was busily bagging many many PBJ sandwiches both for takeout and eat there. I will have to note Lilly takes the prize for most ever peanut butter coverage. The peanut butter apparently fought back but she won and made it get on the bread. If someone has a picture…….
When it was all over, the confirmands and adults took some time to sit round a table and talk about the day, faith, discipleship and listening and responding to God’s call.
It was a full, busy afternoon, full of grace. It was kind of strange for an Asbury day in that we ended up serving 89 versus the low to mid hundreds we often get on the 4th Sunday. Today seemed to be all quality. THANK YOU ALL & pray for those who need our mission of care.