Early last summer, the Rev. Teresa Wakeen, priest at The Church at Crossroads (TCAC), contacted St. Clare’s Outreach committee to see if we would support their summer vacation bible school lunch program in Detroit. In contrast to last year’s outdoor bag-lunch program, with improved COVID infection rates, this was to be an indoor, hot lunch for up to 50 persons! An appeal to our congregation during Sunday service announcements raised $170 and donations of food and supplies. And on a rainy July Wednesday, four volunteers traveled to the Crossroads of Michigan social service building on W. Grand Boulevard bearing all the ingredients for a Mexican taco lunch.
There under the direction of Chef Mike, aproned, gloved and in our hairnets, we browned 15 pounds of ground beef, chopped tomatoes and onions, prepared a Southwest rice and beans side dish and set out taco toppings, drinks, dessert, and eco-friendly table ware. And then the families arrived!
So many mothers and children; shy ones, bold ones, infants in arms, ones unsure what a taco even was. And they filed by the serving window as these four people from a church in Ann Arbor helped fill their plates and choose a beverage and (most important of all) the very best cookie! Teresa shared with us that Crossroads of Michigan, founded by the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in 1971, provides emergency services for over 200 families in the neighborhood and that for many of those in the lunch line, this might be their only hot meal of the day.
After all had been fed, we boxed up meals to go from the leftover food so that none was wasted and, while we cleaned up the kitchen and the eating area, we could observe Bible School being held at the far end of the cafeteria. Volunteers from TCAC and Grace Episcopal Church told Faith Formation stories, led songs and directed art projects with those who chose to stay. But even for those who left after eating, their lives were eased for a short time by the love of God for each of them, transmitted through the hearts and hands of the members of St. Clare’s.
written by Linda Klimach