About the Author

Jill Maisch - as a writer, speaker, missionary, and educator - has a tendency to wander upstream... against the more comfortable current of social and spiritual complacency.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Serving at Stepping Stones Shelter

My church, Covenant UMC, has prayerfully decided to provide one meal each month for the residents of Stepping Stones Shelter – a transitional shelter for families with children. We prepared and served the first of these monthly meals two weeks ago. What an amazing experience! 

Over twenty people helped with that first meal by going to the grocery store or baking food. Five of us then traveled to the shelter to prepare the food and set the table. Before we began to unpack groceries, we offered a prayer in the kitchen of Stepping Stones Shelter – praying for the residents and other volunteers, thanking God for the opportunity to serve, and asking God to bless the meal and those who would be fed by it.

Dinner is served!
That evening we learned what matters most to the residents is the fact that we care about them and want to do what we can to support them. Lured by the smell of tacos, several residents stopped by the kitchen as we were cooking to thank us for coming. One woman explained that often groups sign up to take meals yet fail to show up. It meant a lot to her that we had carried through on our promise to prepare a hot meal.

I think my favorite part of the evening was getting to know “cute, little grocery cart girl”. She walked into the kitchen at one point with a toy grocery cart filled with plastic vegetables. She chatted with each of us about the vegetables – what they were and which ones she liked or disliked. She especially enjoyed handing us the plastic vegetables and then watching us pretend to chop them up and add them to the taco fixings.
CUMC members who helped prepare and serve!

It was also wonderful getting to spend time with the other four people from my church who helped to prepare the meal. We got to know each other a lot better as we worked and laughed together.

I’m really looking forward to serving at Stepping Stones Shelter in the months ahead. We have already learned it’s not just about the food. The loving, caring relationships we’re building with each other are what truly feed us all. 

Stepping Stones Shelter:
Here's a video with information about Stepping Stones Shelter. 

How You Can Help:
Covenant UMC is sponsoring a Help-the-Homeless walk to benefit the shelter. Please consider signing up to "virtually walk" with us on October 26! If you're reading this after Oct. 26, you can still sign up to make a donation.
  1. To register and make a donation:
  2. Go to www.hthwalks.org
  3. Click on Washington D.C.
  4. Under Register to Join a Community Walk, click on Search for a Community Walk by event name and enter Covenant UMC Walk then click Search
  5. Click Join next to “Covenant UMC Walk” and the follow directions to make a donation that directly supports Stepping Stones Shelter. Thank you!