Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Some freshly washed pans for Companion Cafe
I am realizing that the biggest moments in my life usually have me at some point being a dishwasher.  When you work at camp many times you end up standing at a sink washing countless amounts of cups and plates.  The same was true in New Orleans when I was interning at a rebuilding camp, where they almost instantly put me on dishes and kitchen duty to help with feeding the 200+ volunteers a week.  And lastly, here in Austin, my Wednesday nights will now be spent at a sink.
My church has started a Wednesday night dinner called Companion Cafe. The goal being to serve up hearty plates of food at an affordable price.  The plates consist of an entree, starch, and vegetable with a self serve salad in the dining room.  Tea and coffee also included.  I am eager to be involved in such a unique, yet simple event.  Companion Cafe will be a great way for us to reach out to our own church, as well as our daycare families, and our surrounding community.  We did a practice run last week and will again Wednesday night be trying our skills in the kitchen.  It was fun seeing some of my congregation in a new light, making food and laughing.  We had more time to talk than in passing on Sunday, a real chance to get to know one another.  This opportunity seems so simple, coming together during the week and eating a big meal together, but it takes a lot of planning.  Even after it starts, Wednesday night at the Companion Cafe will still have people baffled by the simple beauty and worried that there is another agenda, but it's not.  Just come buy a cheap plate of food and hang out with your brothers and sisters for a bit and then go on your way.  But all this food does create dishes, and as a leader in a church to be back in the kitchen washing dishes so others can truly enjoy the night is splendid.
I don't actually think that my big moments in my life are defined by doing dishes, but rather that there is food, and food usually suggests community.  Whether it be at camp, church, or even Jesus with his disciples, you see food cultivating the community.  Even at LSTC we had Sunday night potlucks that were well attended and most meetings were held during meals or with some kind of snack.
For me personally, I love doing dishes!  In the ups and downs of ministry, we are not always sure of the day and what it may bring.  You do not always see the effects of ministry, and it's not that I need to, but for five hours on a Wednesday night I grab a dirty dish and wash it.  It's a chance to meditate on the simple, let my guard down and just clean stuff.  I reminisce to all the sinks I have been at, from a LSTC potlucks, to camps, and even to the future Wednesday night dishes.  I am so blessed to be part of so many different communities.  What a difference a little soap and water can make.

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