Losing a loved one is a difficult moment in our lives. It is a time of mourning and pain, accompanied by memories and stories of the deceased person’s life. Importantly, in the face of such grief, there are some ways we can offer comfort to those who are processing a loss.
Here in our faith community, the Funeral Dinner Ministry assists those who have lost loved ones by providing and serving a meal for the families of parishioners who have passed away.
After more than 20 years of service, Timothea Murtha is passing on the leadership role. Our community offers a heartfelt thanks to Timothea for all of her compassionate service in this ministry. Rachel Becker is taking over leading the ministry. Rachel’s role involves coordinating the ministry members, the food, set up, serving, and clean up.
“The Funeral Dinner Ministry shows support and love to a family that is grieving the loss of a loved one after a funeral service,” Rachel says.
Upon the death of a loved one, Fr. John meets with the bereaved family and if they wish to have a dinner, he arranges the details with Rachel or Lisa Hughes if it’s a St. John parishioner. Then, members are contacted via the volunteer list to see what they would like to contribute.
“It’s a great way to donate your time or your talent for cooking or baking,” Rachel says. “My hope is that any family that comes in for a funeral dinner will feel cared for and comforted.”
Rachel herself experienced the comfort of the ministry’s actions when she lost her husband’s parents. When they each passed away, she recalls the blessing of being able to sit down and have a meal after an exhausting and emotional day.
“We could visit with relatives and friends, share stories, and relax a little bit,” Rachel says. “It was such a blessing to all of us.”
The Funeral Dinner Ministry is a great way to give of our time and talent to support members of our community in a time of need. Rachel says making food for someone is an impactful way to show someone you care about them — and this is what the ministry provides to parishioners.
“All our lives are connected in some way through our church,” Rachel says. “It’s important to step up and show our love and compassion for one another, especially when we know someone is struggling with the loss of a family member.”
St. James and St. John funeral ministries work together when there is going to be a larger gathering or when more volunteers are needed. There are opportunities for those who wish to get involved, particularly with donations of food, helping with set-up, serving, and cleaning up.
To get involved, let your church office know — 918-336-4353 (St. John) or 918-335-0844 (St. James).