Smith Lake Baptist Church providing meals to those in mourning

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The SLBC Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry is offering donated dishes to families or people in mourning in the Crane Hill, Arley and Logan communities. (Smith Lake Baptist Church)

CRANE HILL, Ala. – In the heart of Crane Hill, Smith Lake Baptist Church (SLBC) has embarked on a mission to support those grappling with the loss of a loved one through its Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry. This heartfelt initiative aims to deliver donated dishes to bereaved families, offering a loving expression of comfort and community support during their time of mourning.

The Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry is built on the simple yet profound act of providing a meal to those who have recently experienced a loss. Recognizing the challenges faced by its community, where options for meal trains or restaurant deliveries are limited, SLBC has stepped in to fill this gap. “It’s completely free of charge,” explained Jamie Hutchins, a key figure behind the ministry. “Just something to ease the stress during a painful time.”

The primary aim of this ministry is to alleviate the burden on those who are grieving, saving them the task of cooking or the need to leave their home for a meal. “During these times, you may not feel like cooking or going out,” Hutchins stated. The service is designed as a “drop and go,” respecting the wishes of those who may prefer privacy during such a time, though volunteers are open to staying and offering company if requested.

The success of the Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry relies on the generosity and dedication of volunteers within the SLBC congregation. When a need arises, a text message is sent to volunteers within the group, prompting someone to prepare and donate a dish. The dish could be as simple as providing a bucket of KFC, or a fully home-cooked meal, with the emphasis on providing the meal in a timely manner. This collective effort ensures that the ministry can continue to serve the community effectively.

Reflecting on the ministry’s origins, Hutchins shared, “Our church has experienced so much loss in the last four years. We knew firsthand the needs that go along with loss. Death doesn’t discriminate and everyone is touched by it in some way. So, the birth of this ministry. ” SLBC’s personal experiences with grief led to the creation of the Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry, aiming to reach out to those who might otherwise remain beyond the church’s support network. By delivering meals along with information about the church’s Grief Relief Ministry, SLBC hopes to provide a support system for those navigating their struggles with loss.

This ministry is open to anyone in the Crane Hill, Arley and Logan communities who have recently lost a loved one and could use the comfort of a home-cooked meal during their time of mourning. Those interested in learning more about the Mourning Meal Outreach Ministry or the Grief Relief Ministry can contact Jamie Hutchins at 256-347-6883 or send a message to the SLBC Facebook page. The ministry is ongoing with no set end date.

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