Congregational Care Experiment Providing Meals is Big Success!

Over the last year the congregational care ministry made some changes to how they approach their role of supporting the ministry of congregational care here at Hope Church. Rather than seeing themselves as the exclusive care givers for the congregation they are working more and more to facilitate the ministry of care among the whole congregation. One very concrete example is in the provision of meals for people during times of illness or at the birth of a child or other seasons of stress. In the past there was a very small pool of volunteers who said that they would provide meals. If we learned of a need for meals the coordinator would have to call one of these volunteers and would need to track who was bringing meals when and if more were needed. The logistics were a bit tedious! And if long term meals were needed it would quickly tax the small pool of volunteers. In the old system, meals weren’t provided all that terribly often. Perhaps people intuited that we really weren’t set up well to provide this ministry with ease and so didn’t take us up very often on the offer to provide meals.

We knew that there were more people out there willing to make a meal now and then. People just needed an easier way to connect to each other to provide this ministry of care. With the use of the volunteer blog and a wonderful online tool called Take Them a Meal, we can now accommodate many requests for meals. People are taking us up on our offer of meals and we are finding it very easy to fill those requests. Between January and June of 2017 members of the church have provided 56 meals for each other.

How to Get a Meal
If you would like to receive some meals during a time of stress or need, simply contact the church office to arrange for them. If you know someone going through a difficult time, ask if they’d like a few meals and if they say “yes” then pass the request on to the church office. The meal coordinators will be in touch to get the details of dietary restrictions, best time to deliver meals etc… Then the office puts those details into the website Take Them a Meal and the link is shared through the Volunteer Blog. With a click on the link people can easily see what the needs are and sign up for the times that work best for them.

How to Share a Meal
If you’d like to be part of this growing team of people providing meals for people in the congregation, all you have to do is sign up to receive emails from the Volunteer Blog and the requests will show up in your email inbox. Sign up for the Volunteer Blog emails by going to: https://lifeofhopechurch.wordpress.com/ and entering your email under “Follow Blog Via Email” and click “follow.” You’ll then receive an email from the website that you’ll need to open and click “Confirm Follow”, and then you are signed up!

Thank you to all the people who have been sharing in this tangible ministry of support and care!

~Jill Russell, Congregational Care Ministry staff support