So here’s what happens at Calvary Lutheran on Wednesdays from September through the end of April:
- 1:00 Volunteers start cooking and setting up for dinner
- 4:45 Dinner service starts, continues until 6:15
- 5:00 Session 1 of Wednesday School for 3 year olds through 5th graders. Classroom activities for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of music in the sanctuary
- 5:30 Session 2 of Wednesday School for 3 year olds through 5th graders. Start with music in the sanctuary for 15 minutes followed by 30 minutes of classroom time upstairs
- 6:20 Gathering music by the Praise Team band begins in the sanctuary
- 6:30-7:00 Contemporary Worship service
- 7:00-8:00 Pre-confirmation (6th and 7th graders), Confirmation (8th and 9th graders), High School (10th-12th graders), Adult Education, and Alleluia Choir practice (7:15-8:15). And lots of volunteers in the dining room and kitchen doing clean-up!
It’s just a beehive of activity. The parking lots are full, with overflow into the strip mall and office parking across the street. Many people like to come early for dinner to get a good parking spot. Our double buffet tables with 4 serving lines keeps the wait time to a minimum, and there is rarely much of a line except at 5:45 when music class ends. Then there’s a little rush, the kitchen crew starts to sweat a little, hoping that the food won’t run out. Sometimes we pray a little, thinking of the parable of Jesus sharing the loaves and fishes with the multitudes. And somehow it works, every week, and no one is turned away hungry. We don’t make special kids’ meals, which sometimes encourages our 160+ kids under 12 to try new foods (remember the couscous and hummus?). We don’t serve any foods with nuts, making the meals safe for those with severe nut allergies. But unfortunately we can’t cater to all the dietary restrictions, like gluten-free, vegan or sugar-free options. That would just be beyond our time and budget constraints. Most people can find at least part of the meal that they can enjoy. What we do offer is a well-balanced meal, mostly homemade right in our kitchen. Our goal is that our church families and visitors can sit around tables together, engage in caring conversation, get to know each other, and nourish body and faith. It’s a goal worthy of the efforts we put in each week. There’s a lot of love in our food, even if it’s not always seasoned or cooked to perfection. New volunteers are always welcome, no experience necessary! Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get involved.