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Roll Up My Sleeves and Serve!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, March 29, 2014


today I woke up

Roll Up My Sleeves and Serve!

I haven’t been as active in serving in the past few years. That was one reason why I think God (as I understand God) nudged me to get more active and to serve with intentionality. I know, I have this year, in a number of different ways. However, I took the opportunity to roll up my sleeves this afternoon. Not metaphorically, but in actuality. I served food at the Community Kitchen of A Just Harvest.

I am a member at St. Peter’s UCC Church in Skokie. So when the pastor sent out a last-minute email request to a group of people, I said “Yes!” Yes, with eagerness! Since this was a month with a fifth Saturday, it is St. Peter’s turn to serve. I was one of nine people who went to serve a hot dinner! The pastor, Rev . Richard Lanford, led the serving team and said grace over the dinner tonight.

A number of years before this, I was much more active in ministries like this—especially when I lived further south in central Chicago. I was a volunteer youth worker and music ministry worker at Austin Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church for five years during the 1980’s. I lived only a few blocks from the North Austin neighborhood of Chicago. I suppose I was naively over-confident as I went in and out of that church, walked the streets, and went in and out of several members’ houses close by. It was not exactly the safest area of the city. Nevertheless, I did a great deal of worthwhile ministry in those years!

As I moved into my thirties, I still served and did ministry in the Austin area, although I had changed churches. Changed ministries, too. I moved much more into missions, and served as volunteer communications coordinator. Was very happy, too! But, Stephen Ministry and then seminary happened. I branched out into preaching. And being a chaplain, for some years. (Anyone follow me on Twitter? My Twitter handle is @chaplaineliza. <grin>)

However, God seems to be nudging me back into direct service with people. On the front lines of service, where I was in my twenties.
I enjoyed myself tonight! It felt deep-down good to do what I could at the Community Kitchen. I put cookies and fruit on plates, helping to fill hungry stomachs in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. I appreciated the hard work of the staff in the kitchen, DJ as supervisor of the serving area and front end, and Tonya as supervisor of the dining area. And David Crawford, the Director of Food Service? He’s got a great operation there. Everything worked like clockwork. I have a huge amount of respect for him, and the wonderful work A Just Harvest does, on a regular basis.

Sure, I was people-watching, too. Just in case I knew any of these dear people who came to eat at the Community Kitchen. I don’t think I did recognize anyone, but it could happen.

Every day brings something interesting, that’s for sure. I wonder what God will send me tomorrow?

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