Tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 11 is our volunteer night at The River Food Pantry, located just a few blocks from Dane County Regional Airport. You can get details and directions at: www.riverfoodpantry.org
Here is Jenny's email to me:
" Please have volunteers arrive by 5 for a brief training and job assignments. Several jobs, including serving in the kitchen, require closed toe shoes. We are usually finished by 8pm, sometimes as early as 7:30pm. Just depends on how busy we are. Everyone is welcome to join us for dinner. There is always plenty for everyone.
I plan to arrive around 4:30, but will not be able to stay long. I'm going to the Dane County Jail to help out with our Catholic Ministry there. I do hope you can make it tomorrow. The last time we served at The River was very fast paced and enjoyable. After a couple of hours of hard work we were treated to a delicious meal.
Tim and I made a visit to the release area of the Dane County Jail (Public Safety Building on Doty St.) and were able to meet a few of the regular visitors to this early morning reception area and de facto warming shelter for those who come from the streets or the Porchlight shelter at Grace Church. We had planned on meeting our first Jail Transportation client there and driving him back to his home in Avoca, WI. However, after his release, he was contacted by his brother who offered to come and pick him up. I was glad that he had family who was caring for him, but a bit disappointed that Tim and I did not have the chance to offer more assistance. In the end, we were able to supply “Bill” with a warm, lightly used winter coat , a few dollars and the peace of mind that a couple of people were waiting for him when he was released from jail. I came away realizing just how quickly plans change for those who depend on others for support. Although “Bill” desperately wanted to have the assurance that someone would be there for him when he was released from jail, he was not able to predict in advance what his family would do. We may want to rethink our offering of help and concentrate on more immediate needs. Making future plans and having control over them may just be more than what our clients are able to do.
This morning I met with three very engaging young people who are active in a Catholic group associated with St. Paul's on the UW campus. They call themselves Evangelical Catholics and certainly full of Spirit-filled enthusiasm. They contacted us through our website and wanted to explore the availability of housing for their homeless friends they had made while working at the local shelters and soup kitchens. I've invited them to stay in touch with us as MCW grows and hope a few will join us for our next Round Table brunch. They all have an interest in community living.
Things are looking good for the upcoming trip to Dubuque on Sunday Jan. 18. Please consider joining us on our visit to the Catholic Worker there.
Finally, thanks for your input on the radio interview. Charlie Petro graciously accepted my request that he share his wisdom with the radio producer. I really would have enjoyed the chance to explore this theme, but agreed with Tim that Charlie is the one for this. I've asked for a link to the interview once it has been edited. The question he will be tackling is a provocative one “Was Jesus an anarchist?” Speak boldly brother Charlie!
There are other things to report, but I'll keep this note short in hopes that you will make it to the end.
May the Spirit and joy of Advent invade your hearts and homes this season. We wait because we must. And while we wait, let's continue to look for ways that we can work together to bring about the “Kindom of God”