Thanksgiving was a day more special than most at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. As you can see in the picture above, we welcomed weekday guests into our nave for the first time since March 13, 2020. While we have hosted community Sunday Supper meals once a month for the last few years, our hot meal service during the week is still offered on a “grab and go” basis.
During the holidays this year, we wanted to give our guests the gift of warmth, relaxation, and family style service. Volunteers brought food directly to tables, and people sitting there could help themselves to what they liked of the turkey, sides and sauces. Pumpkin pie and cookies provided a sweet final course to the meal. The food got unanimously rave reviews.
I confess that there was some anxiety all around as we approached that day. It had been a long time since we had brought the ministry of HASK inside. Many people helping on Thanksgiving are first time volunteers. We were moving from a cafeteria-style distribution of meals to family-style sharing.
But any uneasiness was unfounded. Everyone brought their best selves: staff was organized, volunteers were energetic, and our guests were grateful and appreciative. We filled every place at every table for almost three seatings. It was a beautiful experience. So beautiful, in fact, that we are planning to do it again on Christmas Day.
The Advent theme of preparation is both practical and visionary; it leads us to the hospitality that is essential in relationships, which then points us directly to the love made manifest in the Incarnation. We know that love has already arrived and is always also on its way. Like the carol reminds us: Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People look East and sing today—Love, the guest, is on the way.