A servant heart

News | February 29, 2024

A group of St. Paul volunteers provide loving care and comfort to families during funeral luncheons.

Sitting around a table filled with family, friends, and food is a way to help heal deep sorrows, lift others up when they are down, and nourish bodies, souls, and hearts. St. Paul is blessed to have a strong network of funeral luncheon volunteers who feed families and provide peace of mind on difficult days.

In 2023, these St. Paul funeral luncheon volunteers served nearly 1,200 people.

Team leaders Jan Bush, Chris McGlynn, Pam Crowe, and Barb Orfitelli oversee this ministry. From the moment these four receive a luncheon notification until the counters and silverware are clean and food is packaged for the families, this team of service-minded individuals and a group of dedicated volunteers make sure the families and friends are well cared for. This caring ministry works closely alongside St. Paul staff like Matt Spencer and Jim Akright to accommodate seating, table placement, and set-up while coordinating with pastoral staff to identify luncheon needs.
Jan Bush has been serving others through funeral luncheons for more than ten years. Jan notes that the funeral luncheon volunteers provide much more than just food for families.

“The biggest service we want to provide is peace of mind for the family. Knowing that when these families walk into St. Paul for the celebration of life for their family or friend, they don’t have to worry about anything. We provide a warm, familiar place of comfort for them. If they need a drink of water, a cup of coffee, or if they have a question, it’ll all be taken care of,” Jan said. “You never know who is going to be in attendance at that luncheon or what their needs are going to be, but you just might be the key for them on that day.”

Jan began volunteering with this ministry after retiring, looking for a way to serve that had a flexible schedule, minimal time-commitment, and focused on serving others. Jan noted that having a servant heart is just a way of life for these volunteers.

“When you volunteer for a funeral luncheon, you see compassionate service in action. It’s as simple as helping a person carry their plate of food to the table. It’s serving a cup of coffee and chatting to get to know new people or create stronger bonds with those you know. Striking up conversations is a chance for us to make a connection with someone we wouldn’t otherwise get to know, even if it is for just that afternoon,” Jan said. “The rewards of this type of service are immense. Deeper friendships form while volunteering alongside others. There are opportunities to get to know one another better while washing dishes or folding tablecloths.”

Volunteers Needed
One goal for 2024 is to expand the volunteer list. Anyone is welcome to volunteer. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and serve alongside others and provide a much-needed service for the St. Paul community and beyond. Interested in learning more or getting involved? Sign up online at stpaulqc.org/signups or on the St. Paul app and a team leader will connect with you.

2 Comments on “A servant heart”

  • Cindy Marberry

    March 8, 2024 at 7:49 am

    I would love to volunteer for funeral luncheons. I won’t be able to start volunteering until after June 1. I had back surgery on February 22 so I need to heal from that.

  • Diana Cook

    February 29, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    I pull be willing to help with the funeral luncheons


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