Still Learning To See

At the table

jrs-3331I joined a group of a dozen volunteers last week to help cook and serve the Thursday community meal at the Trinity Methodist Church in Montpelier. After preparing eighteen gallons of turkey vegetable soup, I left tired and inspired, clearly having received far more than I gave in the few hours I was there. Today’s lunch was pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs, salad and garlic bread. Always a vegetarian option too. Our goal is to serve healthy, hearty food and for no one to leave hungry.

I know Trinity is not unique in acting on their faith in this way. They actively work with four other churches in town so that five of these community meals are served each week. As is the case with many churches, mosques, and synagogues as well as many non-profit organizations, Trinity’s stewardship to others goes well beyond the norm and Sunday mornings—they not only provide this weekly meal but also, among many things, host and support a bustling Food Pantry that serves 300 families every month.

The people who come to the lunches are largely in need of food or friends or both. I’m sure the list of reasons many of them are in need is long and complicated. Sometimes in my privileged life it is hard to imagine how people end up so needy, but here they are—and clearly it can happen to any of us and may happen to many more in the next several years given the political climate.

Both the neediness and the feeding are, I know, just a small part of a much, much larger picture around the world. So many people give so much to make the world work for everyone.

I wish our President-elect would come sit at the table with us one day soon because I know what he saw here and the interactions he might have could have a positive difference for the world. I’ll extend an invitation and hope he accepts.


This entry was published on January 5, 2017 at 8:14 pm. It’s filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Vermont and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “At the table

  1. I always appreciate your passing the lessons you learn to the rest of us: your insights and actions are always enlightening and inspiring. Thanks, t

    • Thanks, Theo. We just have to keep on inspiring each other—more than ever. When I wake up feeling like “OH SHIT!”, I” remember someone like you working with music and kids and pure inspiration and be able to get out of bed. Honestly, more than ever we must stick together! Thanks.

  2. danis regal on said:

    John, After just having read your moving post “At the Table”, I thought you find the article from today’s NYT, the link is below, inspiring.

    Thank you for creating your blog! Stay strong.

    Danis Regal

    On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 8:15 PM, Still Learning To See wrote:

    > John Snell posted: “I joined a group of a dozen volunteers last week to > help cook and serve the Thursday community meal at the Trinity Methodist > Church in Montpelier. After preparing eighteen gallons of turkey vegetable > soup, I left tired and inspired, clearly having receive” >

    • Thanks, Danis, and YES, “I am a Frenchman!” says so much. We must never forget all the wonderful human beings around the world. We far outnumber the Trumps and the 1%.

  3. The event you captured in pictures could have been at any one of the church kitchens in our community, Manchester, or probably all over the world! It is so refreshing to be reminded that there are so many folks, regardless of political leanings, that want to help others. Obama’s family volunteered many times in similar community kitchens. It is a humbling experience that you should inviteTrump to participate in.

  4. Callie on said:

    My husband receives your posts and passes them along to me, and I’ve always wanted to comment: to thank you for the inspiration of your posts. Reminders of the beauty, love, and goodness you pass along that are so necessary as we recover from the shock of the recent debacle aka presidential election. I remember soon after his election, Barack and Michele volunteered cooking and serving those in need, as you did in this post. Don’t think we’ll see that happen in the next presidency. Bernie, yes, but this country wasn’t ready for Bernie, as we have seen. Yours was the first message I read in my inbox this morning; a good way to begin the day. Thank you!

  5. ehwfram on said:

    And not to be discounted, the act of sitting down and breaking bread with someone is one of the most equalizing and human acts possible.

  6. Dale Dailey on said:

    Sounds like Thursday at noon at the church matches Sunday morning.

  7. Thanks Dale, a good way to put it.

  8. Chica Snell on said:

    Looks like everyone is going to have the best dinner ever!

    Sent from my iPad

    • That’s our goal but honestly it is a far cry from where any of them would really like to be and I feel so strongly that we are all complicit in having them not be there. Thanks!

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