Thursday, June 29, 2017

Root beer floats for 70

Last night we made 70+ root beer floats and served them to people downtown. I was a little suspect of the idea, but it turned out to be a big hit. It was nice to see people's faces light up - many of whom probably haven't had such a treat in a long time. Jane dipped the ice cream, and James (the intern from England) and I poured the root beer. We went through two big tubs of ice cream and eight 2-liters of root beer.

We are part of a group that makes and serves food to underserved people once every other week. We meet at the church building and put together 70-100 sack lunches of peanut butter sandwiches, chips, and a cookie. It seems Jane usually makes the sandwiches and I put them in ziplock baggies. Then people usually make some type of main course at home and bring it. We then set up four tables in the plaza area outside the city library. One table is for the main course, one for dessert or fruit or whatever, one for drinks (coffee and water or lemonade), and one for toiletries, socks, and whatnot. Someone said we served 72 hamburgers (one per person) last night, and 4 people didn't get any and had to settle for the sack lunch.

I'm sure there are people who say what we do is frivolous, and that's okay. I realize not everyone is homeless who comes to these gatherings. I know some of them are addicts of various kinds. We may be enabling and not necessarily helping in the big picture. However, for one night every other week, there are many regulars who look forward to the chats and a home-cooked meal. The floats were quite a treat, and while none of us really put a whole lot of effort into the preparation or serving, it was nice to simply be in the moment together, regarless of which side of the table we were on.

So, is this what it means to be "missional"? I don't know. Is this what Jesus would do? I don't know that either. Is it in the Bible? Again, it's hard to say for sure whether what we do as a group of people who are part of the same church is meaningful or respectful or worthwhile in any way. Yet it's what we do. It's not fancy, it's usually poorly planned and gets quite chaotic at times, but it always seems to work out. Sure, not everyone is blessed every time, but someone is.

All in all, I'm glad I am simply part of the group. If it had been up to me I would have nixed the float idea. But it turned out to be really good.