Project Advent, Day 22: Saint Benedict's Chapel


Last month, when I asked for suggestions of places to perform service, my friend Courtney got in touch with me to tell me about Saint Benedict's Chapel.  It is located in downtown Lubbock, in a building that used to be a Subway franchise.  They serve dinner to the hungry every night of the week.  Each night, the cooking, serving, and cleanup is done by a different church or community group.  Courtney goes to Second Baptist church, and comes down to serve with them on Thursdays.

I've previously shared a little about my sentimental fondness for downtown Lubbock, so I was glad for another opportunity to do some service in that part of town.  I arrived at St. Ben's at around 4:30, when most of the cooking was done, and just before the serving started at 5.  Courtney's mom was already there, and greeted me, and then Courtney arrived a few minutes later, and introduced me to some of the other volunteers.  I haven't seen Courtney in a while, so we caught up a little bit as we prepared drinks.  We tried to figure out how long we've known each other, and couldn't really remember, but it's been at least 20 years.

Then it was time to let people in from the cold, and to serve dinner!  The menu tonight was fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, bread, and cake for dessert.  Serving works a little differently here than it does at Second Helpings.  There, the people line up and come through a serving line.  At St. Ben's, they find a seat and food is brought to them on a plate.  I joined the group taking plates out to the guests, while another group made plates behind the counter.

There's a piano in one corner that's used for Sunday morning services, but tonight one of the other volunteers played Christmas songs on it while he sang.  It really added a lot of fun to the evening!  As people finished their plates, we took away their trash and took seconds to anybody who was still hungry.  The hour passed quickly, and before I knew it, I had to leave so that I could get home with the kids before Courtney went to work.  As I prepared to leave, an old friend of the family caught me, and wanted to make sure I told my mom hello.

Serving for a day at St. Ben's was really a lot of fun.  I have to say, as much as I enjoy working at Second Helpings, I really liked the act of bringing food to people at their tables at Saint Benedict's.  It felt like I was serving individual people.

Just two more days left in Project Advent!  I just finalized the arrangements for Saturday's project today, and I'm looking forward to it.  I think it'll be good.

Gratitude Project: The family friend I mentioned above asked me very kindly about how we were all doing since Papa's death in August.  We've had good days and bad, and some especially hard ones still happen sometimes.  One thing constant through it all has been love and support from our friends.  I'm thankful for that today.


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