Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ministry through food

Ministry through food

I am today facing ministry through food.  I have 50 christingles to prepare and then need to make sure that 200 carol service attendees (estimated obviously) will have mulled wine, OJ and mince pies afterwards.

There are a number of issues I am struggling with about this.

1. I have to admit to feeling this isn't really ministry.  In my head I know it is, it's pure mission to the community. But the ego-driven bit of me says it's a menial job.  So what's that about? I have huge admiration for the many lovely church people who organise the food for church events, never think it's menial and share how much I see this as God's work.  And this year they're all unavailable and so I volunteered to take the role.  My choice. My decision. But it doesn't feel like ministry somehow. Not yet, although I know it will when I have the honour of sharing food and drink with the community.  

And I think the main reason for this is .....

2. I have an eating disorder.  This is not something I have 'said' out loud online before.  But I am learning that I am called by God just as I am, including as someone for whom food is a challenge. And He uses me through this, I have been able to walk alongside a young girl suffering with anorexia and her parents.  So it is time I fessed up and said "yes, I have an eating disorder, and God loves me anyway and calls me anyway.".

I think this is why this food ministry is difficult for me, because food flips from being my best friend to my worst enemy.  But today and tomorrow it will be ministry to the community, a way of allowing me to serve others and speak to others in a relaxed way.

Thank you Lord for helping me share this and supporting me through this.  Amen.

1 comment:

UKViewer said...

Interesting. I know how much goes on in the background to make things happen. Those who provide the food and drink for events are the unsung ministry team. Their contribution is vital and something we really value. How do you give back to someone who gives unstintingly and is just there?

I think that you volunteering is heroic, the Army taught me never to volunteer, but as our Vicar is also a TA Padre, he has a way of overcoming that!

I find the menial things about ministry to actually be things which I am happy to do, so I run accounts as well as the other stuff, this is using the gifts that God has given me for administration for wider benefit. Of course, it was the Vicar who recognised it and said one day - could I help out with audits (I am a qualified auditor), which I did, this led to bringing two PCC accounts up to date, followed by me actually being given one to run.

A year later I am the benefice treasurer and responsible for coordinating Parish Quota for each church. It's the menial things like this that keeps things running.

Now the Vicar is to expand my ministry across the Benefice, rather than just two churches - wow, God is certainly keeping me busy.

All of this, while trying to work with the DDO to discern whether my Vocation is valid. I am glad I am retired, as I could never have fitted it all in while still working.