Feeding Ministry Update Summer 2020

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Saint Brigid’s Banquet/Saint Martin de Porres Ministry Report

Saint Marks Episcopal Cathedral, August 2020

Hello to all the supporters of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral’s ministry to the Saint Martin de Porres shelter on Alaskan Way in Seattle!

I hope that you are enjoying your summer. I wanted to report to our wider group of supporters and volunteers as to what has been happening during July and August for our ministry.

We have had a very busy two months! We are as active as possible in providing meals to some of our homeless friends, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. As you know, our friends in need require more support than ever due to the hardships imposed by the pandemic.

In early July, Reverend Cristi Chapman asked if some of us involved with the Saint Martin de Porres ministry would be able to cook some meals for our church visitors with Tent City 3 in the church parking lot. We decided that the lead cooks in our ministry and those in Teen Feed program ministry should join together to help out.

On Sunday night, July 26, four of us met in the church parking lot to help prepare 50 meals for our guests. You can see the four of us in the photo at the bottom of this email. On the left side of the photo, you will see some of the paper bags we prepared for each Tent City resident. We prepared 50 paper bags, each with a sandwich (Maris Olsen and Mark Stumpf), homemade cookies (Earl Grout), an orange, two containers of potato salad, a bag of chips, a small granola bar, and a can of seltzer water. It was a perfect outdoor dinner on a pleasant summer evening!

On August 23, our other lead cooks Brook Brayman, and Teresa Pliskowski hosted Tent City again with Kathy Albert ‘s help. You can check us out below! This time we offered homemade sandwiches, potato salad, fresh fruit, and cookies. The photo below shows Kathy, Brook, and Teresa in the church parking lot.

Meanwhile, we continue to provide hearty dinners twice a month to the Saint Martin de Porres shelter on Alaskan Way. In July Kathy Albert and Rabi Lahiri, a new volunteer, helped do the grocery shopping. In August Earl Grout and Jay Quarterman helped us at Restaurant Depot. In the final photo you can see Jay Quartermain, Brook Brayman, and Earl Grout with our meal supplies from Restaurant Depot. Thank you all!

Do any of you read the Real Change newspaper sold by Seattle street vendors? In the July issue (Volume 27, Number 28), vendor David Dunn (and Saint Martin’s resident) refers approvingly to Saint Martins as “the ranch.” He talks about how challenging the pandemic lockdown was for many shelter residents. The good news is that Real Change vendors are back selling their papers. Maybe you could buy one and help the vendors out?

Why in the midst of a worldwide pandemic do we continue to provide meals to our neighbors in need? Volunteer Kathy Albert summarized her thoughts and values when she wrote our team members in March. (With her permission):

I'm glad the prep and delivery of the lunches for the Saint Martin de Porres men was such a success!  I'm proud that my faith community is doing the saintly work of serving the needs of our most vulnerable during this pandemic, the people who in the long run will be the most forgotten as we find our way through.  We need to continue doing this kind of work!  We could conceivably shut down this ministry, out of consideration for our own health needs and those of the people around us.  But what about the needs of these homeless people whom we serve?  They are just as important, and our faith tells us their needs are to be considered first.

Perhaps it also helps us to re-read the mission statement from the local Saint Martin de Porres on its website:

Our Ministry of Presence

“Do not depend on the hope of results…In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.”
—Thomas Merton

Our ministry of presence is rooted in the Gospel Values and entwined with our idea of friendship and community. We believe our ministry is to live out an unconditional affirmation and passionate pursuit of the best in every person.

We have faith that the good is there and that we can discover it together through our solidarity with one another in all the pain and joy of life.

We recognize our shortcomings and we ask forgiveness when we fail to sustain our vision of home for one another.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer! We will periodically keep you all advised of our activities. Thank you again for your continued support in helping to keep our ministry alive and vibrant.

—submitted by Chris Rigos, Team Coordinator

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