By Beth Fulmer, Synod Communicator for Messiah, Mauldin
Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
On an afternoon during the season of Lent, although I am no expert, I presumed that most teenagers and middle schoolers were playing video games, exchanging tweets, or watching TV. I do, however, know for a fact that this was not the case for the young people at Messiah Lutheran Church in Mauldin. What they were doing, different from most teens, were chopping vegetables, browning meat, opening cans of tomatoes, and per-forming many other kitchen duties.
During Lent, every Wednesday at noon and at 5:00 PM, a lunch/light dinner is served either before or after our services. Every Messiah committee is responsible for one meal consisting of soup and sandwiches. This is a “piece of cake” for most committees and it could have been for our Christian Education Committee. Parents of the children could have simply been asked to contribute to the meal. Alysia Dodd, our Youth Director “Extraordinaire,” had other ideas.
At Messiah, on this evening, Campbell Cooper was browning meat; Morgan Ballard was chopping vegetables; and Ethan Miller, for the first time in his life, was dicing onions and “NOT crying.” Jacob Demuth was the official stirrer. When asked what they thought about these kitchen activities, they said that they were fun; they “loved it.” A room full of middle and high schoolers came together, made enough chili for two big meals, and left with a feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.
The first batch of chili was served and enjoyed by the congregation who at-tended that Lenten service. The second “meal” of chili was frozen in por-tions for Pastor Michael to take with him on visits to homebound parishion-ers and to give to visitors in need of a hot meal. There were very many “winners” in this endeavor.
Alysia is blessed with the wonderful talent of relating to young people and always looking beyond the obvious. Messiah is blessed to have Alysia who can work so well with our impressionable teens.