Our Among Friends volunteers are organized into teams. Mike Terry heads up the Tuesday group, and Bonnie Schultz and Lisa Knight lead the Friday group. There are four Monday night teams: the first Monday cook is Stephen Knight (Lisa’s son) and the whole family comes. Sometimes Stephen is joined by his mom and dad, his two sisters, and even his grandparents. What a team!
The second, third, and fourth Monday cooks are Bob Alukonis, Terry Rooney, and Joyce Cejka. Some of our team members come once a month, others more often. The teams are intergenerational, from young teens to the eighties, and include people from other churches and the community at large.
There’s plenty to do: Setting tables, preparing drinks, salad, and dessert, helping cook the food, putting it on plates and serving it, and cleaning up. One of the best parts of serving at Among Friends is taking a plate of food and sitting with our guests.
Some months have five Mondays, and this occurs a few times throughout the year. The confirmation group covered the Fifth Monday in January 2012, the choir this past October, and the youth group before that. In April, the vestry will form a team. The members of the Among Friends Board hope that groups within the church will volunteer for the Fifth Monday evening meal. And thus cover July 30th, October 29th and December 31st. Yes, that last one is New Year’s Eve! Remember Among Friends serves a meal every Monday, Tuesday and Friday throughout the year.
This is a big commitment for our church, and it takes a lot of “people hours”. We hope that groups within the church will commit to a Fifth Monday. Not only would the meal be covered, but more people would become familiar with Among Friends, and perhaps encourage more volunteers and support.
So think about, St. Paul’s folk. Altar Guild, Atrium Teachers, Ushers, or any of our many groups and committees. For any group that volunteers, one or two members should attend an Among Friends meal beforehand to become familiar with the responsibilities for set-up and clean-up. If someone in the group would like to cook, that would be great! If not, the Among Friends board will supply a cook.
Another idea is to have two families cover one Monday together. We have three parent/child pairs now. It’s not a place for very young children because it can be hectic and “unpredictable”, but it would be a great experience for families with teens and preteens. Among Friends invites you to stop by for a meal anytime. Some may hesitate to join us because they feel they would take meals intended for others, but the cooks normally prepare plenty (and there is a donation box if you care to contribute). You are welcome to join us!
If you would like to talk to me about volunteering, please call Joyce Cejka, Among Friends Coordinator, 978–463-7835.