Opportunities to gather in fellowship are a key part of building community here at St. Peter. Even amid construction going on in our church, there is a need for hospitality in the parish community. And although numerous changes to our physical facilities are underway, the Mass Refreshments Ministry team is working hard to ensure we can continue to gather as a parish family, enjoying food and fellowship together.
“Our hope is, on nice days, we’ll do things out in the courtyard,” says Debby Rye, Mass Refreshments ministry leader. “That’s always been the favorite place for people to meet and gather. When it’s cold, we will probably meet in the gym with the little snack bar area as our kitchen. We will not be able to use the parish hall because that’s where Mass will be held.”
Once a month, the Mass Refreshments Ministry team organizes food and drink for parishioners after the weekend Masses. These refreshments at times coincide with a particular day, such as the Feast of
St. Joseph or St. Valentine’s Day.
“We have a good turnout,” Debby says. “A lot of people come and enjoy each other’s company. On average we feed 800 people each weekend.”
Born out of a desire for the parish to feel a sense of community and hospitality, the ministry began in 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted. As the first of the four stewardship pillars, hospitality is a key component of our efforts toward building stewardship in the parish. And it’s been a great experience for everyone involved.
“People love it,” Debby says. “We all hear so much that people love it, they love the fellowship, they feel like they’re part of a community. I think it’s changed our culture at St. Peter.”
Two years since the gatherings started, there are now more than 100 parishioners involved with this ministry — they help with purchasing food, preparing the refreshments, setting up, and tearing down. Debby and the other leaders, Katherine Norman, and Becky Huebner, are working to get some of our parishioners to take the lead on organizing the events, while they continue helping out.
“We’re asking ministry members to take turns leading each month to help with the workload and get new ideas for refreshments. These leaders help plan the food, pick up supplies, and organize volunteers. If someone is interested in leading a month of refreshments let me know!” Debby says.
Anyone interested in joining the Mass Refreshments Ministry may contact Debby Rye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-432-2315.