Monday, September 20, 2010

St. Philip's Lutheran has a full house!

St. Philip's volunteers getting dinner ready for our families
St. Philip's Lutheran is hosting a full complement of 4 families (including our first single father family!).  St. Philip's was one of the very first congregations that launched our network, with full support of Pastor Patrick Downes who was one of the startup team leaders.  When we arrived, we met Jane Newcomer, Pam Brenneman, Lori Bowles, Ruth Bowles, Leona Schechinger and Ellen Lenker hard at work getting dinner ready for the families, and they were gracious enough to take a minute out for a picture.

Nancy & Brandon Zinnato
 The St. Philip's Family Promise crew is led very capably by Brandon Zinnato, shown here with his mother Nancy Zinnato, both of whom have been very supportive of launching our Family Promise network.  Brandon is part of the social ministry committee that first considered bringing Family Promise to St. Philip's.  Brandon says:  "At first, I thought it looked a little odd and alot of work, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized Family Promise was something we had to do!"  The whole social ministry committee was on-board after only one meeting and St. Philip's church council unanimously approved to join in 20 minutes - they moved quickly!  Brandon credits Aldersgate UMC pastor Beverly Lewis with encouraging him early on, and then goes on to paraphrase Matthew 25 where Jesus said "when you are serving the needy, you are serving him."

Brandon Zinnato & Jason Kaul
All told, over 60 people at St. Philip's have come together to support Family Promise, including Pastor Patrick who likes to spend overnights with the families with his 3 children.  Brandon says: "I'm the coordinator, but it really is a team effort" and being a good son, Brandon makes sure to credit his mother Nancy with being one of his most reliable volunteers!  Kris Dierks, Steve Furguson, Sharon Kittle, and many others have been essential to the work at St. PhilipsAnother volunteer we met is Jason Kaul, who is driving the van this entire week.  Jason has been coming to St. Philip's for 18 months now and stated unequivocally: "St. Philip's is the warmest & friendliest congregation I've ever walked into!"

How was the dinner?  Quite good.  Brandon asserts "In my experience, Lutherans are the best cooks."  Well....we're staying out of that one...but perhaps a Family Promise cook-off challenge might be brewing?

Up this week is also a trip to Old Country Buffet, thanks to the contributions of St. Philip's members.  The families really enjoy a night out and getting the opportunity to select what they get to eat - so it's a nice treat!

Thanks St. Philip's volunteers!

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