In some of my past entries, I've mentioned Pres House, the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s campus ministry at UW-Madison. I attend a Presbyterian church, and about this time last year I got involved with the team that once a month prepares and serves a communal meal at Pres House after their Sunday worship service. This last Sunday, I was speaking to one of the other Pres House team members about the meal we'll be serving next month, and she had the idea that we should try to recruit some new team members by way of a "minute for mission" (which, despite the name, usually last 5 to 10 minutes) presentation during an upcoming worship service. Unfortunately, the minute for mission calendar was full through November, so I decided to whip up a short article for the church newsletter, which I know present here in lieu of writing anything new.
Christ Presbyterian has been a part of Pres House, the Presbyterian Church (USA) ministry at UW-Madison, since the very beginning, when CPC pastor George E. Hunt received permission to hire a staff member to minister to college students. These days, Pres House is a ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and occupies its own building on State Street, but Christ Presbyterian remains involved, supporting it financially and preparing and serving a communal meal after worship on the second Sunday of each month during the academic year, starting September 8.
The meal after worship is free and open to all comers, and represents an important part of the Pres House ministry. As campus co-pastors Mark Elsdon and Erica Liu wrote in a letter to CPC in 2011: “The meals you bring to Pres House are a … message to students, that indeed, they are lavishly and abundantly loved by God. You are the tangible hands and feet of Jesus, extending His grace to students who are often lonely, anxious, and afraid.”
CPC’s Pres House team is composed of about ten dedicated people who provide and prepare the food – a taco bar comprising flour tortillas, seasoned ground beef, refried beans, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips, plus milk and desserts. On the second Sunday of each month, team members bring their food items to the church, where it is picked up and taken to Pres House and served to the students after their worship service.
Sunday worship attendance at Pres House has increased every year since 2004, and attendance at the meal following worship has grown right along with it. The Pres House team is looking to recruit some additional members to help accommodate that growth. We could use some people who would bring or provide financial help to purchase food items needed each month, or transport the food and set up and host the meal at Pres House. If you would like to be part of this ministry, please get in touch with Pastor Glen.
Photo via Pres House
Finding that photo on the Pres House website was a stroke of luck. We're hardly the only church that serves meals there, but that indeed is a picture of our taco bar setup. Even if I didn't recognize my fellow team member Norma standing at the left side of the table, that bright red Nesco is a dead giveaway.