10,0000 meals, 15 workshops, and Mark Scandrette at Equipping the Beloved Community

What can 170 people in a cathedral do on a Saturday? They can package 10,000 meals for international hunger relief through Stop Hunger Now, but only after they’ve attended a variety of some 15 workshops, shared worship and lunch, and listened to author Mark Scandrette talk about practicing the Way of Jesus. In the process they became more skilled Vestry and Bishop’s Committee members, Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors, managers of volunteers, lay pastoral caregivers, and much more. That’s what happens on a Saturday in Grace Cathedral when its the annual Vestry + Bishop’s Committee Equipping the Beloved Community!

Saturday, February 7, was one of three annual equipping (ministry skill development) events sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of California, each of which are designed and hosted by different deaneries. The Rev. Darren Miner, AnnaMarie Hoos and other San Francisco Deanery members worked closely with members of Bishop Andrus’ staff to make sure there were workshops for a variety of ministry skills, as well as workshops for fun and exploration. The Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia and the Rev. Paul Burrows led midday worship with song and music, and keynote speaker Mark Scandrette reminded participants to take seriously Jesus’ call to love one's neighbors as oneself. People evidently took the invitation seriously, because there was an overflow crowd at the Stop Hunger Now food packaging event, which afforded an opportunity to practice Christian service in the midst of a day of learning. SHN works with partner organizations in developing countries to promote education and improve nutrition, and their meal-packaging programs engage half-a-million volunteers who will package 45 million meals this year, delivering over $9 million in donated aid.

Next year’s Vestry + Bishop’s Committee Equipping the Beloved Community is already scheduled for Saturday, February 6. You don’t have to wait until then to learn with your diocesan community, though. St. Matthew’s, San Mateo, will be hosting Equipping the Beloved Community on Saturday, May 2, and St. Clement’s, Berkeley will be hosting on Saturday, August 29. Watch DioBytes for details and registration.