Dear Friends of Shepherd’s Table,
Twenty-nine years ago the Shepherd’s Table ministry was started in the basement of First Baptist Church with the mission to provide a hot meal for those in need in our community. Since then, the program has served literally tens of thousands of meals. What started small has grown and flourished under the supervision of passionate leaders and the diligence of faithful volunteers. In addition, the community has been beyond generous in supporting this ministry with donations of food and money. It has been a blessed season of ministry.
And so it is with a genuine mix of heartfelt emotions that we announce that the Shepherd’s Table ministry will be taking a break after the meals are served on Thursday, March 28, 2019. Why? Maybe the following analogy will help explain:
As I write this letter, renovation has begun in the block adjacent to First Baptist Church--the shopping center that for many years has been home to G&D, Oleson’s/Prevo’s, the laundromat, etc. Those businesses at that location have served Cadillac faithfully over many years. But it is readily apparent that a renovation is needed at that property to best meet the current and future needs of the community. In the weeks and months to come that block will be a beehive of activity as preparations are made for what comes next. Something new and beautiful will be constructed there. But in the meantime, business at that site will come to a halt as the renovation progresses. Waiting is always hard, but the wait will be worth it.
Similarly, the ministry of Shepherd’s Table at First Baptist Church will be undergoing its own renovation in the months to come that will require a season of waiting. Much like the property mentioned above, Shepherd’s Table has served Cadillac faithfully over many years. But as with all properties, ministries, and organizations there are needed seasons of evaluation and renovation. In the Old Testament God commanded the Israelites to periodically let their fields lay fallow. Doing so actually increased their fruitfulness. We believe this Scriptural principle will be applicable here. As Shepherd’s Table enters into such a season, we believe the end result will be a fresh vision and approach to meeting the needs of our community. But in the meantime, Shepherd’s Table meals will come to a halt after Thursday, March 28th as the renovation of this ministry progresses. The waiting will be hard, but the wait will be worth it.
This ministry could not have accomplished all that it has over the past 29 years without the help of so many. Thank you to the directors Kathy Balzuweit and Jan King. Your labor of love has impacted so many. Thank you to our cook Ed Stark. Your ability to prepare meals for hundreds is truly a special gift. (The chili was my favorite). Thank you to the many donors. Your gifts have been used to be both a physical and a spiritual blessing. Thank you to the many volunteers. Your faithfulness has made such a large operation possible. And thank you to our guests. It has been more than a pleasure serving you.
So as you see the progress being made at the old shopping center across the street, think of the progress being made at First Baptist in reimagining how we can best meet the needs of our community.
Anticipating what is to come,
Pastor Chad Zaucha
First Baptist Church of Cadillac