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MINNEAPOLIS 55403
612-871-7400

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Third Sunday Meal: Hope made tangible

By Pat Harlan-Marks
“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Nowhere is the illumination of Plymouth’s flame more evident than on the third Sunday of every month, when two to three hundred of our neighbors are welcomed with warm hospitality at a community meal. Souls and stomachs are nourished during a time of genuine connection which enriches the lives of volunteers and guests alike.

The Third Sunday meal is made possible through the efforts of a dedicated group of Plymouth volunteers, yet key to its success is the sustained, caring commitment of Kim Lutes (at left in photo) and Aimee Maidi.

Creating community is Kim’s calling. By sharing her gifts of welcome and organization, she coordinates and enlists 40 volunteers monthly to staff and serve, managing to make even dish-washing seem like a privilege! Kim’s embrace of others has helped many members find a sense of purpose and place at Plymouth. Through her recruitment, volunteers provide such support to guests as consultation with a doctor, connection with community resources, donations of personal care items and bike repair by Gingie Ward’s bike wizards. Kim’s artistry on the computer means that each month volunteers sport personalized name tags on aprons, which Kim designed. Kim’s advocacy for the hosts, as well as the guests, communicates her deep conviction that all are welcome and valued within the community. Volunteers, so nourished, eagerly sign up for repeated opportunities to serve.

As a young girl, Aimee volunteered at Third Sunday alongside her mother, Lois Larson. As an adult, Aimee has been involved in Third Sunday leadership for over eight years, successfully wearing multiple hats and demonstrating the art of flexibility on the fly. She regularly gathers bushels of bread from a local bakery to be given away at the meals, coordinates dining room set up and clean up, collaborates with the kitchen staff and provides on-the-spot training and advice. Participating at Third Sunday is a joyful experience for Aimee, in part because it has helped her reconnect with many members of her church family.
Aimee expresses the feelings of many when she says, “Helping others puts me in a good mood. I enjoy the feeling of connecting with the volunteers and also the guests we serve. I like knowing that I am a part of a process that creates an environment where all people are treated with dignity and respect. I am keenly aware that many of us could be one or two events away from being in the shoes of the guests we serve. Life can take crazy turns and I believe in living by the golden rule.”

Hope is made tangible through the Third Sunday meal. All are uplifted by the light of love which is present when two or more are gathered in communion. Our congregation is blessed by the light of Kim and Aimee’s presence in our midst, and by their willingness to help us put our faith into action. Our neighborhood is strengthened by the embrace of those who choose to live the message of radical love, which is served up as a hot meal, a shared laugh, an offer to listen, or an expression of concern and understanding.

 

 

 

 



 

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