(by Pastor Rossow) Many congregations have the tradition of Lenten soup suppers. At our parish, Bethany Lutheran Church and School – Naperville, Illinois, our various societies and groups take turns hosting the meal.
For this last midweek supper it was our chapter of the Brothers of John the Steadfast who hosted the meal. One of the things we encourage chapters to do is do one or more service activities in the parish. The burning question during the minutes before the soup was served was “Will the congregation turn out for soup made by the brothers?” They did indeed come. We got our usual 100 or so faithful Lenten soup eaters. Even more satisfying was that we had a record chapter turnout. Sixteen men came to set-up, serve, bring soups and so forth. And another brother showed up to eat making it seventeen members in all.
BJS chapters are a wonderful way to get the men of your congregation together. Click here for more information about chapter formation. (The link takes you to the “Organization” page of the website, also available on the masthead. Once there, look for the tab about starting a chapter). We have about a dozen chapters around the country, including a new one in the north suburbs of Detroit that I will introduce to you later this month.
The Bethany BJS’ers treated the congregation to some wonderful soups including smoked turkey and bacon, black bean andouille rice, French onion with garlic cheesebread croutons, creamy sausage and potato, beef barley, and spicy chicken tortilla. Even more tasty was Pastor Schumacher’s sermonette on safety in the Lord through the forgiveness of sins.
We hope you will consider forming a BJS chapter or affiliating your existing men’s club with BJS. It will be rewarding for your parish and increase the steadfastness of the believers in the faith.