Dr. Mark Cook, a professor at Shepherd University, challenged his music classes, sorority, and fraternity to collect packaged food for the Community Cafe, which is located at St. John's Episcopal church in Hagerstown, Md. He and his wife Helen are members and sing in the choir. Several times a week, Mark drops off a truck-load of food, all donated by college students from Shepherd University.
The Community Cafe takes place once a month, on the fourth Saturday of the month in the church dining hall. Susan and Bob Rauth started this meal ministry to create a sense of community and fellowship for people in the surrounding neighborhood. On the surface it operates just like a restaurant. Guests enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal and dessert is always included. But unlike a restaurant, all meals are free! Last month, the church served 108 meals. This ministry is supported by contributions from the Parish. Parishioners, young and old, work alongside one another in serving their neighbors. At the end of the meal, guests
take home food from the pantry table. The pantry is organized my a group of young adult men, who have been members of the church since childhood. The greatest blessing of this ministry is the way it grew from a simple meal to a wide-spread community of generosity, bringing together the Shepherd University, the neighborhood of the church, and the members of the church, young and old.