Here at St. Michael we started a community meal about 2 years ago. We started serving this meal one Thursday a month and in January of this year we added a second Thursday. We now serve this meal on the first and third Thursday of the month.
We serve about 65 to 75 people of various backgrounds and economic situation. The meal is designed for anyone in the community and it is offered free. I cook and the parishioners and some other friends help serve and welcome the guests, yes we call them guests, into the church hall for the meal.
Jesus did much of His ministry around the table or was concerned about food for the people who followed Him. Each Sunday we “break bread” during the Divine Liturgy, so what is more basic then feeding people. An extension of this is we love them and we express our love through the meal we serve.
I am asking the readers of this blog if you would consider helping to support this ministry of my Church. Most of you do not come from Southbridge or Massachusetts for that matter and I have no right to ask you for support, but would you prayerfully consider helping.
Southbridge, like most communities now, is economically depressed. The latest census put us at 15% at or below the poverty level with 18% of that number are children. At last check we had 12% unemployment in this former mill town and it does not look like it will be getting any better anytime soon.
The meal costs us approximately $125 per meal. Again this meal feeds about 70 people. We hope to expand this ministry to each week during the month but we need support. The Church has pledged to continue to support the meal and we have some possible funding from some community groups and a few Churches have also pledged support and I am thankful for that. I have never asked for funds on the blog before but desperate times call for desperate measure.
Over on the right side of the blog down a little is a support this blog button. That takes you to the paypal site. Anything you donate will go directly to support the Community Meal of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge. I will add your name to our prayer list and remember you at each and every Liturgy we celebrate here at the Church.
I would not ask you to support this ministry at the detriment of your local Church. If you can after you have supported your local Church ministries, please consider helping us out.
God bless all of you!