Sunday, December 23 was the last Supper Club of 2018, marking six straight months of serving good food to our growing community of friends at Centennial Place.
But, that’s not all that was served this time.
We celebrated our first Communion, or the Eucharist, as my newfound Anglican tribe (as well as others) knows it. Father Jon Ziegler, of Church of the Resurrection in nearby Highland Park, led us, and was accompanied by our friends Bethany and Jacob, who led our singing and shared a word from the Gospel of Luke, respectively.
This was all especially exciting for my wife, Teesha, who (along with Jacob) is in the formal “discernment” process in the Anglican Church of North America. As ecumenically-minded as our group is, I know Teesha desires to share the spiritual practices that have grown increasingly important to her with our friends and neighbors at Centennial.
This was a special time for me, as well, as my father and sister helped out with our meal preparation and serving. (My mother came down with something in the course of their cross-country travel, and stayed back to rest, much to her disappointment. Happy to report she was back to 100% by Christmas morning.) My family has done much in the way to support our early efforts financially, as well as through their encouragement, so I was glad they could finally see and meet the many people we’ve told them about over the past few months.
We prepared and gave out over 100 servings of Chicken Pot Pie, inspired by the recipe my mother made for us growing up, so you could say that the evening was not wholly devoid of her presence. And for a special treat, we put together a little gift bag of treats for everyone who came to the event. This, and the dinner, was made possible through the generosity of my longtime friend, Erik.
I have a few more people to thank, but first some updates to share:
As of early December, we officially filed our paperwork with the IRS to receive our 501(c)(3) designation. It’s supposed to be a 6-8 week process for an organization such as ours, but given the holiday (not to mention the current government shutdown…) that probably puts it at early to mid February before we get anything back. Tax-deductible designation for gifts can be back-dated to July 2018, if you’re wondering, so charitable giving receipts will follow upon IRS approval. Furthermore, we will soon be able to identify and apply for grants that will allow us to expand our work further, hopefully feeding more people, more often.
In the coming weeks, I, along with Pastor Dan of Rose City Church and Rosebud Coffee, will be interviewing an individual interested in learning to cook, who may turn out to be a good candidate as a first employee/intern. This is in partnership with Dan’s coffee-based ministry, which trains at-risk youth in coffee service.
We plan to expand our food sales with both Rosebud Coffee and our other partner, Ambrose Cafe. If you’re in the Pasadena area, look out for lunch and dinner options at both of these locations, as well as new breakfast offerings. I am, after all, about so much more than breakfast burritos.
With that out of the way, let me make a few special “thank yous” here before signing off for the last time in 2018.
To Jacinth, for her love and support from afar.
To Ryan and Leyna, and Daniel and Kristen, faithful friends making our work here in Pasadena possible.
To Amanda and Mark, new friends of ours who came to serve at December’s dinner. It was a pleasure.
To “Granny,” who, despite her best attempts, seemed to have a good time serving with us on Sunday.
And thanks to the continued generosity of all of our donors and volunteers. Pasadena Community Supper Club has grown in amazing, beautiful, and really unbelievable ways over the last six months, and, while I am quite bad at predictions, I believe we are prepared and positioned to do more. There is need all around us. And alongside it comes the opportunity for us to serve.
I leave you with the screenshot of a message one of our volunteers and friends, Chantel, shared about our work together.