BEing the church is still what God calls us to do today. But what does that look like? One day each week we will hear stories from within our Cross Creek community, of people who are taking intentional steps to BE the church to their community. This week we will hear from Alice Crespo, and what BEing the church looks like in her life. Alice and her husband Manny serve with the Free Lunch Program at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Newark. Here are a few questions we asked and Alice’s answers:
Can you tell us what spoke to your heart about serving your greater community in this way? Was it the people you would be serving or maybe the cause itself?
Alice: It’s about the people. We are meeting a need but we pray together, we pray for each other, and we eat as a family. Some of those we have served even began to serve others with us!
Has this experience changed you at all? How so?
Alice: This program has changed us to be more loving and caring. We count those we serve as family and we look out for family. It has helped us to deepen our hearts and spirit in our personal walk with our God!
Are there any verses that come to mind when you think about serving in general or serving in this way?
1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Any other things about your serving experience you would like others to know about serving?
Alice: Don’t be afraid or hold back from volunteering in any form. When you serve with our God, He is with you all the way!