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  • Writer's pictureJanet Richey

Meal Ministry



Once upon a time, a family with a new baby or someone recovering from a sudden illness, could count on 10 varieties of casseroles (including the recipes to go with them,) and have them delivered to their door. That was back in the day when churches were smaller and people knew their neighbors. But thanks to the service-oriented visionaries at Living Water Community Church, a more modern approach to this concept is alive and active. Let’s talk about the Meal Ministry.


Never heard of it? You’re not alone.


Under the umbrella of Evangelism and Outreach and led by Elizabeth Davis with support from Betsey Hernandez, the Meal Ministry provides meals for people who attend Living Water needing support when life events throw things into chaos; because in those circumstances, the last thing a person wants to do is cook. While this ministry has likely been around since the early days of the church, Elizabeth took this over two years ago and has brought in a modern element, in the form of an email list and the ridiculously easy-to-use Take Them a Meal website.


By the Numbers

I love how Elizabeth has been keeping track of the Blessers and the Blessed. In 2022 and 2023 alone, the Meal Ministry delivered 340 meals to 38 families, feeding 164 people, which adds up to 1,100 servings. Based on averages, that means that 1 person is being fed every 15 hours, through the generosity and culinary talents of people that you and I worship with.  And if that doesn’t satisfy your desire for statistics, volunteers have driven approximately 5,000 miles to deliver these meals, which is the near equivalent of driving from Living Water to Seattle, Washington, and back! As I was typing these numbers it occurred to me that our Elizabeth is doing more than filling in a few blanks and sending out emails! This speaks to the many relatively unseen, unheard, and critically needed volunteers within our church, who bless you and me with their spiritual gifts. Sometimes we take that for granted.


How Do I Get Involved?

At the risk of exploiting a dated stereotype, while there is no shortage of Church Ladies who cook, there is always a need for volunteers in the Meal Ministry. If you look at the back of the communication card you get every Sunday in the church bulletin, there is a tiny box next to the words "meal makers" which puts you on Elizabeth’s mailing list. Her emails consist of the name, address, (our area covers both sides of the river and probably six counties) contact info for the family in need, the number of mouths to feed, and any dietary restrictions or food preferences. This is especially important for those with food allergies and children who will only eat chicken nuggets and raw carrots with Ranch dressing. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) She also provides a link to the Make Them a Meal website where you can select a day that is convenient for you. Best of all, you don’t need a degree in culinary arts to participate. This ministry goes so much deeper than that. You have options!


Living Water's Communication Card

First, you can find a local, preferred take-out restaurant or pizza joint and have a meal delivered. Or, while we live in a post-COVID world where some folks will prefer a porch drop-off, most recipients enjoy the feeling of a warm, heavy casserole dish being placed in their hands. Some might want you to hold their new baby and remark on how good Mom looks, others want to be prayed over and listened to without interruption. Could that be you? 


Do You Need a Meal?

If you attend Living Water and have an unexpected life event that would be eased by a few hot meals, I encourage you to reach out to the friendly Betsey Hernandez in the church office, who will get you in touch with Elizabeth. Let your church family make your load lighter.


Final Observation

While each of the five ministries I’ve highlighted since September of 2023 meets an important demographic and need, this one takes you into their homes during times of both uncontainable joy, like that of a new baby, and unfathomable suffering like the loss of a loved one, or a life-altering surgery. If this vision ignites a spark within you, check that box. The blessings are inescapable.


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