A nourishing meal

Mission | December 1, 2016

Table Graces and Meals for Moms are creating community and well-wishes by taking meals to St. Paul members who are facing a variety of circumstances that warrant care and compassion.

Food is nourishment for the body and soul, organizers of both efforts say. A meal gives people the opportunity to experience some normalcy and take a little bit of a breath from the change that’s going on around them.

“Many stories about the ministry of Jesus occur around a meal and the sharing of food,” said Tammy Hermanson, St. Paul staff member who leads the Table Graces effort. “Food not only nourishes the body, but the gift of food feeds the spirit as well. Bringing sustenance at a time of need communicates caring. It creates bonds and strengthens friendships. Sharing food can be a wonderful way to serve one another while fulfilling very basic human needs.” meals

Table Graces

The Table Graces ministry is designed to help the people of St. Paul connect with others through preparing meals together a few times a year and delivering them to fellow St. Paul members at a later date. A frozen entrée, fresh salad, dessert, and a note card or prayer will grace the table of someone who would welcome a lovingly prepared meal during a particular time of need.

Someone recently hospitalized, a displaced individual or family, or those impacted by special circumstances are some of the people who benefit from the ministry.

Friendships also form among the people who come to cook, Tammy said. They take joy in recommending recipes and delivering meals.

“Table Graces transcends food,” she said.

Table Graces will hold a special Christmas cookie-making event on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2-6 p.m. in the St. Paul Kitchen. The cookies will be given to the families who participate in the Madison Marketplace food pantry. Signup for a shift at stpaulqc.org/signups.

Meals for Moms

When Christine Lassers had her third child, Teddy, fellow moms brought her meals during the initial weeks after his birth.

“It was wonderful,” said Christine. “Having a child is one of the most stressful times of life. Having someone bring meals, it takes one more thing off your plate. You don’t have to make a mess, don’t have to clean dishes.”

Christine now is the coordinator of Meals for Moms – an initiative started by the Moms’ Morning group that meets at St. Paul. They are now hoping to welcome others into the meal making and delivery effort.

The way it works is simple. Christine connects with Pastor Sara Olson-Smith each month about babies born, and children adopted, to St. Paul members. She then connects with the families to see if they would be interested in having some meals brought to them.

Some say no, some say yes. For the ones who say yes, Christine sets up an online signup, posts it on the Moms’ Morning page and sends the link out by email. The system is flexible to allow for suggestions based on dietary needs, allergies, or tastes, and for different preferences on days and times for deliveries.

It allows for a little bit of connection and goodness – for both the cook and the recipient.

“This is an extra little help until a family gets back to a regular routine,” she said. “New moms can relax a bit, and simply put the meals in the oven.”

Meals for Moms is inviting individuals to join in their effort to bring meals to St. Paul members who are new parents. To be a part of this flexible opportunity, email Christine Lassers at christine.lassers@gmail.com.

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