WELCOMING THE STRANGER: LUKE 24:13-35
As a member church of the Downtown Community Ministry, St. Paul's has provided Thursday lunch to the homeless, needy and working poor for over 25 years. In the spirit of "welcoming the stranger," approximately 200-230 guests in need of a hot meal are served lunch each Thursday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
There are abundant volunteer opportunities in this important outreach ministry:
- Meal preparation: 9:30 -10:30 a.m.
- Servers: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- Socializer: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- Front Desk Greeter: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- Musician: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
- Clean up: 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
All are welcome to volunteer with this community ministry. Parishioners, groups from other faith communities, corporations, and other organizations are all part of making this ministry successful each week. If you are an organization or company, please contact us about scheduling your group to volunteer.
Volunteer Anne Snyder reflects on her experience of volunteering at Emmaus in this poem:
I have worn many hats in my life
The blue and white Easter hat of childhood
The beret of a young, trying to be hip poet
The infamous pork pie hat of a WAC
The invisible hat of the diligent worker
The worn cap of a caregiver
But none fits me so well
Or brings me greater joy
Than a simple, white paper hat
Worn admittedly at a jaunty angle
Each and every Thursday
As I serve my much loved brothers and sisters
A simple meal
That is made a banquet
By their love
Do you want to wear it too?
Come and share your love by serving
In recent years, the lunch ministry has been enhanced to allow for developing relationships between volunteers and guests. In addition, representatives from the Department of Social Services and Richmond Behavioral Health Authority are available each week to help the guests with any special needs.
Twice a year, we also partner with Homeward to host the Point-in-Time count. Homeward is the planning and coordinating organization for homeless services in the greater Richmond region.
The Ministry also welcomes donations of travel sized toiletries, socks, gloves, scarves, hats, ponchos and other useful personal items to distribute to guests. Note: We do not maintain a clothing closet. Please drop off clothing donations at any of the various clothes closets or Goodwill organizations in Richmond.
Hana Yun, Social Worker, Emmaus Ministry 643-3589 x 5416