“Good Morning! I’m so glad you’re here!” Every person that enters Friday Morning Ministries is greeted with a warm hand shake and those words.
The day starts early for the volunteers as breakfast is cooked and served. Coffee is first, so the volunteers and those they will serve can all have a cup from the urn. Eggs, sausage, whatever the kitchen can cook to have enough for the 100-150 people that will en ter Payne Hall’s doors. Juice and fruit is on the buffet, where there are always plenty of bananas. Then at 8:00, by twos and threes the guests arrive. Men, women, families with children, some here for the first time, some old friends the volunteers know by name. Each is greeted and enters the hall to a place of warmth and music. Live classical music is played by George Wall while the guests enjoy their breakfast. Bach with your bacon and eggs, only at St. Mark’s! Bach leads to hymns and hymns to a service of Morning Prayer.
A homily on the days readings delivered by Paul Howell reflects the congregation he seeks to reach. Some hang on every word, some stare out the window, but they all hear. They are all listening to the Word of God from someone who cares. Someone who is glad they are there.
As the guests leave, the volunteers make sure they don’t leave empty handed. Leftovers packaged for their lunch later, a couple of bananas; the group that arrived, timid and tired, leaves smiling and talkative. No one leaves hungry. They’ve been fed food from a loving hand and the Word of God from a loving heart. For now, Christ’s command to “feed my sheep” has been done.