Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Catering meals

This weekend the youth group went to a local soup kitchen to serve.  I could write about how touching it was and what it made me think about poverty, etc.  However I was serving up the food and the youth were handing it out, so I didn't really see that.  If you want to read a post like that, go here.  I will say that several people went out of their way to thank us and that made me feel good.

But on to the actual thoughts that I had about the experience.  We had a break in between 2 groups of guests and we were told we could eat some of the food if we wanted too.  I wasn't hungry and I didn't, but a couple kids got a roll.  I really don't remember what they were talking about, but for some reason my mind traveled back to my youth group years and the serving I did then.  I had forgotten about it until Sunday night.  What an odd experience to remember a large part of your past that you had completely forgotten!  In the moment, I was  stunned that I had totally forgotten these years.

What had I forgotten?  The multiple times a year for multiple years that I served at the dinners cooked by our men's group at my first home church.  Our men's group would cook fancy dinners for groups in town that needed a catered dinner for some occasion.  The job of the youth was to serve.  We had to dress up in a white shirt and black slacks.  We were to serve them the salad course and take the dishes away.  Then the main dish and take those dishes away.  Finally we were to serve dessert.  I don't remember if we took those dishes away or not, but we probably did.  Of course this involved a few different carts.  We had to ask their dressing preference and their dessert preference.  We had to ask about if they had finished their meal.  We had to push the carts of salad, dinner, dessert, and washtubs around the tables.  One would push and one or two would serve.  After all the serving was done, we got to get a plate and eat.  We had to eat in the kindergarten classroom.  So that meant we sat in the tiny plastic blue or pink chairs at a tiny table.  We had to silently get our food and silently return it so as not to disturb the guest group.  The kindergarten room was far enough from the fellowship hall that we didn't have to be quiet while eating.  There was an adult classroom we could have gone too, but it was closer to the fellowship hall and we had to be quieter.

So I have said all this and you are wondering why.  I'm not really sure other than serving the other night reminded me of my catering experience.  I really enjoyed those nights and I think it taught me some valuable lessons about politeness and how to serve a dinner.  I enjoyed fellowship with my fellow servers that only comes through finishing a job together.  I truly felt like a part of the church.  I felt like I was making a difference.  I didn't realize that at the time.  It is only with the span of time I realize all the lessons I have learned and the fun that I had.  Don't tell 14 year old me that it was fun and educational.  She'll roll her eyes at you!


  1. my parents used to drag my brother and I out to serve once a month at the shelter downtown where we lived. We'd cook a big meal then eat out with the guests. I remember loathing giving up my friday nights during those rebellious years, but in the end those are some of the experiences I really grew to treasure!