The guests who attend the Monday morning drop-in at Cathedral Memorial Hall are lucky. People who have never even met them collaborate to make the event a success.
They have a warm, welcoming place to hang out and socialize with their friends. Thanks to members of the congregation who generously donate sandwiches, muffins and fruit, they never leave hungry.
Thanks to others who set up the room, they can enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting in comfortable chairs. Their dirty dishes will be made sparkling clean by volunteers in the kitchen.
Some guests are busy “shopping,” looking through the free stash of used clothing and small housewares donated by cathedral members, their relatives and friends.
Archdeacon Pat Drummond offers a Bible study each week. Parish nurse Kathleen Snow takes blood pressures and chats with people about their health problems, often pointing them toward helpful resources.
A few Christian men from a local Baptist church bring their guitars and banjos to play gospel music, with some country tunes and oldies mixed in. Sometimes there’s a singalong.
A social worker from the downtown health clinic circulates through the crowd to assist people he knows or has just met. Cathedral volunteers chat, making the day a little brighter for guests struggling with loneliness, illness, poverty, and addictions.
“We enjoy wonderful partnerships with people from the cathedral and elsewhere in the community who believe in opening their hearts to help people in need,” said a smiling Penny Ericson who is chair of the Outreach Committee. “We couldn’t do it without their kind and faithful support.”
She noted that the Cathedral ACW helps by providing funding as well as food once a month as do the pastors and parishioners of St. Margaret’s Anglican and New Maryland United.
“We have a great time working together in the kitchen and talking with the guests,” she said. “The people who come appreciate what we offer very much. About 40 people attend every Monday, although on the last Monday of the month when we give out a $10 gift card or bus tickets, the turnout climbs. We are grateful to the Bishop and Chapter for the money to fund that part of our activities.”
Penny welcomes questions from anyone who is interested in learning more about the Monday drop-in.