Tag Archives: Des Plaines Ministerial Alliance

In Which We Serve at a Soup Kitchen

baked-goods-photoMatterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 14, 2016


In Which We Serve at a Soup Kitchen

I found myself in the basement of a church this afternoon with a dozen other people, getting ready to serve at a soup kitchen. Marvelous operation. Worked like clockwork.

The tables, chairs, tablecloths and vases with flowers were already on the tables when we got there. We volunteers got out some serving utensils and set up serving stations for soup, bread, and beverages. We unloaded the back of a car piled high with breads, cookies, and various other baked goods and set them out on several banquet-size tables. Cheryl, the manager of the soup kitchen, made sure that all the volunteers were assigned to cover all of the various stations.

And then, the guests started to come in. The food kept coming out of the kitchen. The guests went down the line, and out to the tables. I kept busy, getting the guests drinks. Asking if they needed anything. Going back and forth, trying to be as friendly and helpful as I could.

We all did have an opportunity to sit for a bit and have a bite of dinner. (Which was superb!) I sat at a table with several guests, and enjoyed having some conversation with them.

I noticed some people did not meet my eyes, but instead kept their eyes lowered. I noticed some guests moved slowly, and a few even needed assistance walking. Or carrying their plates. Or both. I noticed after sitting at the tables for a time, and getting comfortable, some people really became engaged and animated.

How good to be of service, again. (I have not served at a soup kitchen for several years.) I so appreciate the First United Methodist Church of Des Plaines for hosting Bessie’s Table. Thanks to my fellow members of the Des Plaines Ministerial Alliance, who volunteered tonight. Thanks to all of the regular workers for giving of their time and talent. And, thanks to Cheryl, the manager of Bessie’s Table.

Dear God, I pray for all those in that church basement tonight. Encourage hearts, not only of the guests who were at Bessie’s Table tonight, but also of the volunteers and workers. For some, it might have been the very first time they had the opportunity to work at such a place. Please, God, help it not be the last. I pray for the guests, their loved ones, and for each situation each one finds themselves in. God, come alongside and comfort. You are our Refuge and Strength, always present in time of trouble, and when we have need. Thanks, God.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er


PEACE is Community (Repost)

Just reposted this to my new Facebook page, Pursuing Peace. Also, to my blog, matterofprayerblog.wordpress.com

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 12, 2016

PEACE is Community


As I ask people for their personal definition of PEACE, I am intrigued by the ones who have to think hard about the decision. Sometimes, taking a good deal of time for the answer. And, I am equally impressed by the ones who immediately know what their definition is going to be.

Today’s definition falls into the latter category. The name of the person I talked to? Karen Hohl. Her personal definition of peace: PEACE is Community.

Fascinating definition! I never, ever thought of that word before. A breath of fresh air.

When I asked Karen for a sentence or two of explanation about her choice of definition, She was quick on the draw with the following words and thoughts. “When I think of Peace I think of community. [To me] means sharing with others, caring about others, understanding and respecting our individuality and uniqueness, similarities and differences. All are essential to building and nurturing a healthy peace as comm-unity.”

Such a wonderful way to think of community. According to Karen, sharing, caring, understanding and respecting are all hallmarks of a peace-filled community. Another way of saying it, I think, is a community that actively strives for peace.

Karen is one of the conveners of the Des Plaines Ministerial Alliance, and an instrumental part of the DPMA. I have heard—a number of times—that Karen is a marvel at lifting up the work and ministries of the different houses of worship and nonprofit organizations that make up the DPMA. She is a minister at large at the moment, and is looking for a good fit for employment. Her skills for detail and office management, and gifts of compassion, encouragement, love, and organization make her a marvelous addition to any ministry or nonprofit organization.

We can pray that Karen finds a community that appreciates her many skills and gifts. Dear Lord, thank You for Karen and her love for the community, both local and more wide-reaching. Please support and encourage her heart as she continues to look for a good fit, in terms of employment. God, bless her richly today. Amen!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er