On the second Sunday of every month at 11:30 a.m. you will find a group of Mexica and Gringo volunteers in the Courtyard of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala, (#LPCCapala), serving lunch.
The volunteers are organized by Debbie Reynolds into three crews; setup crew, the serving crew, and the takedown crew. These helpers are some of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala, Volunteers In Action, #LPCCVIA. The servers all #Volunteers have smiles on their faces, the fun has already started as they chat among themselves. They stand on the far side of the food table behind their allocated serving dishes. Serving spoon in hand, they stand like a parade of soldiers. The tables in front of them are full of serving dishes of hot or cold food. This food has been prepared in the church kitchen and is wheeled to the serving table on in four-wheeled trollies as it is needed.
Volunteering to prepare and serve Sunday Brunch to your own congregation may not seem like mission work, but to this handful of people at Lakeside Presbyterian Church this hour or so each month, donated to assist with the building of a strong Christian Community, is their ministry. A robust Christian community can reach out to the Mission field that surrounds Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Riberas, Chapala, and from there they can touch the rest of the world. It is the ripple in the pond effect.
This Sunday is the lasts Sunday before Saint Patrick’s Day, the main course is Irish stew prepared by the kitchen staff and organized by Jai Cartwright, (a topic for another day). The people from the three regular morning services, two in Spanish and one in English are eagerly waiting to be allowed into the courtyard. Just before the doors open allowing the dinners in, Debbie Reynolds with a concerned look on her face which replacing her normally calm happy expression wanders about checking that tablecloths, chairs, and cutlery are in place, the tables all decked out like a Bistro. With a last-minute friendly chat with some of the other volunteers, Debbie takes her place in the line of servers, serving spoon in hand.
The volunteers serve about 150 members of the congregation with a free meal once a month, donations are optional. Today was only Debbie’s second as organizer of this monthly gift to the members and visitors. It was a success; after the last of the dinners had left and Debbie’s cleanup crew of volunteers at work; the smile was back on Debbie’s face.
It had been an opportunity to serve and to eat an excellent meal, to socialize in the elegant courtyard setting of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, with friends and new acquaintances from the other services.
Christ said in Matthew 25:40 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
For more information on how you could volunteer a few hours your time each month, please contact the Church Office Administrator 376-106-0853.
By Malcolm Callister