As each of us has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
– 1 Peter 4:10
YOU HEAR IT ALL THE TIME. People claiming that service work makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside, that they received more blessings than they gave. Well, that certainly was the case for Cindy Waits and me after we volunteered at Reinhardt Elementary School. (Reinhardt probably rings a bell with you because it’s one of the outreach ministries our parish lifts up each week in our Prayers for the People.)
Every year in January, St. John’s hosts a pizza dinner for Reinhardt’s teachers on the day they have to stay late to host parent conferences. Cindy and I knew we would be dealing with teachers who were tired and hungry, having just finished a day of teaching, with parent conferences looming ahead. What a great opportunity to swoop onto the scene armed with pizzas, salad, sugary sodas and mounds of chocolate! We definitely had their attention. One goal, of course, was to provide food for their bodies, but our loftier goal was to point them to a place they could get food for the soul: St. John’s. We also let them know we pray for them each week, which seemed to warm their hearts (but then again, they were eyeballing those pizza boxes!)
We’ll never know if our visit there will result in St. John’s getting a flood of newcomers from Reinhardt in the coming weeks. But it’s not our job to worry about that. We are told to go out and “make disciples of all nations.” Cindy and I used food to get us in the door. After that, we trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
Editor’s Note: If you would like to participate in the Reinhardt School ministry at St. John’s, please contact Kristin Todora at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
by Cindy Waits & RuthAnn Funderburk