Welcome Ministry offers a free food pantry to the community on the first and third Tuesday mornings of each month. Before the pantry opens, Welcome Ministry welcomes its guests to Mass in the sanctuary of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. How Mass came to be a part of the morning schedule was God’s grace.
One especially hot day in 2015 Father Dave, soon after becoming rector of St. Alban’s, invited early arriving pantry guests who had been standing outdoors in the heat to come into the air-conditioned church sanctuary. In that moment began a tradition that continues before each food distribution – a Eucharistic Mass. Most of our pantry clients are Chaldean refugees or asylees, so the Mass features a bilingual liturgy and sermons that are simultaneously interpreted from English to Arabic by a volunteer. During communion, Chaldean women chant hymns that traditionally accompanied their experience of Mass in Iraq. Following Eucharist, all who worship are invited to receive healing prayer and anointing.