Claire and I are in the process once again of deciding/discerning where and what the Lord is calling us to after July 31, 2013 (the date Claire’s internship in Evanston, WY ends). Once again I find myself excited about the possibilities, but more so, I am scared and already tired about the thought of moving again (of course we might stay in Park City).
As we have begun to talk about life over the past week, one thing I have mentioned is that I have missed being involved in ministry. Since beginning my journey into the world of culinary arts, my dream has always been to combine a love for all aspects of food with a deep passion for seeing people grow spiritually, connecting with God in all aspects of their lives. Most of the time, I have told people that this might look like helping run a small retreat center for people to come and intentionally slow down from the hustle and bustle of the American culture. But another thought came to mind the other night.
Pastor of Food Ministry.
Some of you might stop reading at that last sentence because you think this is a gimmick or that I am trying to capitalize on the unhealthy obsession many Americans have with food. But please hear me out.
This idea is not to fan the flame of an unhealthy preoccupation with food, but rather to foster community and healthy families through a holistic theology of eating and food.
Most churches already do a lot with food, including banquets to men’s and women’s breakfasts, holiday parties, food pantries, and most importantly celebrating the Lord’s Table. So why not have a person on staff to oversee and facilitate all of this, but in a much larger capacity?
So here are some of my preliminary thoughts on what such a job might look like:
- Plan the celebration of the Eucharist, with one of Sunday of every other month centered solely around the Lord’s Table and giving thanks, followed by a love feast (you can read more of my thoughts on the Eucharist here).
- Oversee functions of the church where food is served, which includes recruiting volunteers to help make and serve meals.
- Communicate to the church that food is not just an enticement to get them to come, but rather central to the formation of deep community.
- Oversee meals for families in need – from births to sicknesses to deaths.
- Oversee a food pantry to help those in need have healthy options for food, which may include also providing guidance in cooking and recipes.
- Helping families in the congregation and community eat together more in the family, once again providing cooking demonstrations or tips on how to do so with ease considering that in most families a stay-at-home mom/parent is a rarity.
- Facilitate classes and other learning opportunities dealing with issues with food, including support groups for people dealing with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia or obesity. This will also include knowing of community resources like psychologists and treatment programs for such disorders.
- Encouraging members of the congregation to become more involved in the arena of eating, which might include trips to farms and ranches that treat God’s creation with respect.
There is probably more that can be flushed out and developed within this job description, nor do I know if any churches would actually get behind such an idea. But I like the idea of working within the church instead of through a retreat center mainly because of the relationships that can be developed and the community fostered through ministering with the same people over the long haul. Good community and good food both take time and care to develop.
I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this idea and if you think if it is possible.