“Don’t think that if you had a great deal of time you would spend more of it in prayer. Get rid of that idea! God gives more in a moment than in a long period of time, for His actions are not measured by time at all. Know that even when you are in the kitchen,Our Lord is moving among the pots and pans.”
St. Teresa of Avila.
Our Lord was indeed moving among the pots and pans at St. Paul’s first “Volunteer Ministry Appreciation Dinner”, held on October 18th, 2016.
Advocacy Office, Altar Guild, Book Club, Choristers, Finance, Greeters, Healing Guild, Home Visitors, Hospitality, Labyrinth Guild, Library, Liturgical Service, Movie Night, and more lay ministries were represented by the 72 St. Paul’s volunteers, past and present, who were celebrated on this special evening held in the sacred ambience of the parish’s Labyrinth. The meal was a three-course Italian dinner of: Caesar Salad, Pasta Prima Vera entrée with herb meatballs, garlic bread and homemade Tiramisu accompanied by Italian wine (red or white), juice and coffee.
Bishop Melissa Skelton served perfectly as MC. She was joined at her “low table” (for our parish practices Christian equality!) by the Rev. Jessica Schaap (rector), David Facey-Crowther (rector’s warden), and Fernando Esté and Gail Evans (people's wardens).
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by Rev. Jessica and Ellen Silvergieter the Director of our Advocacy Office. The Hall was replete with elegantly-decorated tables featuring a flower arrangement donated by Eden Florist (our parish’s floral supplier), lit candles, elegant napkins and menus at each place-setting. Michael Molnar, Music Director, performed light jazz, classics and pop tunes on the piano throughout the evening. The Wardens circulated to personally welcome and thank each guest for their service to God at St. Paul’s, while offering a glass of wine or juice. Then Rev. Jessica’s formal welcome began the dinner, prior to Bishop Skelton opening with prayer and an “ice-breaker activity” while salad was served.
Rev. Jessica offered heartfelt words of gratitude for the volunteer lay ministry service of all present during the serving of the entrée. She and Bishop Skelton went from table to table personally thanking each guest for their volunteerism and to present a small Benedictine key - brought from the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the “Sistine Chapel of México” - as a symbol of their faith and service in God.
While dessert and coffee were being served, Bishop Skelton offered formal remarks explaining our Anglican roots in Benedictine spirituality. Final remarks were then provided by Rev. Jessica before the bishop concluded the evening with a blessing.
Many people made this evening possible beginning with the Reverend Jessica Schaap and office administrator, Maria Hizon. Thanks also to Cathryn Schutz, ODNW, her daughter Eve Plevan and our verger and building administrator, Dale Plevan for food planning, preparation, plating, set-up and take-down. Thanks to Frederic Helm, Walter Lopez Rivera, and Tom Esakin who helped with set-up, serving, clearing, dish-washing, and take-down. Warden Fernando embraced his talents as our primary hand dishwasher.
On this night the Spirit of Christ was with certainty felt in the kitchen and Hall of St. Paul’s. Gratitude for the evening continues to permeate throughout our parish.
ARTICLE SUBMITTED BY THOMAS ESAKIN