Thank you for your interest in being one of the weekly ministry partners for Cathedral in the Night! We are looking forward to having you join us for worship and meal and appreciate your support for the ministry of Cathedral in the Night. Cathedral in the Night was founded to be a ministry of the local community and congregations. Thank you for making this dream possible.
This letter hopes to answer some of the frequently asked questions we have received regarding ministry partners and outlines our expectations for ministry partners. Being an emergent and evolving ministry, we strive to adapt to the needs of those around us. That being said, the expectations and details described below are not “carved in stone” and if you have concerns or suggestions regarding anything in this letter, we hope you will contact us. Please find Pastor Steph’s contact information in the footer of each page of this document.
Thank you for your support and consideration! We hope that you will join us as a weekly ministry partner soon.
Cathedral in the Night
Expectations of ministry partners:
Meal - Ministry partners prepare and bring a meal to Cathedral in the Night. Food is needed for 80-100 people and must include at least 80 individually wrapped sandwiches (no mayo – please label them so people know that their choices are) and dessert (cookies, brownies, etc.). Please plan to bring a hot dish (chili, shepherds’ pie, soup, etc) and serving utensils for 100 people. This comes out to roughly 6-8 large standard- sized catering trays of the hot food. We recommend that you bring one option for a hot dish- this helps keep a sense of consistency and calm while people are waiting in line. It also helps the food go further. If there are many options, people understandably want a little bit of everything, and thus the food doesn’t go as far. If possible bring one tray of vegitarian option. Additional foods such as salads (pasta, potato, coleslaw, etc.), granola bars, and other snacks are very appreciated. Bring serving utensils as well.
For drinks – water: in individual or large bottles. Creamer for coffee and sugar for 80 people. We have a coffee pot that we plug in every week, but if you couple bring two cartons of half-and-half, milk, or creamer, that would be great.
Supplies and utensils -If you are able to bring supplies such as plates or bowls, to-go containers, napkins, forks, spoons, etc. that would be helpful. If that is not possible please let us know and we can supply them.
Catering Case - We have an insulated catering box to keep trays of food warm during the service. (the case holds three trays of this size 20.9 x 12.9 x 2.5.) Please plan to meet at First Churches no later than 4:30pm.
Parking – On Sundays all street parking is free. If you can’t find a space we suggest parking in the TD Bank lot on Center Street. To get there you will take the first right after First Churches (if the church is on your right). You will turn onto Center Street and the lot will be a block down on the left across the street from the Police Station.
Arrival Times - 4:30pm. Please bring all the food right inside the church when you arrive. We will also a brief orientation to go over how to best serve for the evening and a debriefing after clean up. Volunteers are expected to join us for worship at 5pm, help serve the meal and to stay until 7pm to help with clean-up and break down of worship space.
Expectations for serving.
Your biggest gift is not the food but YOU – it is relationships that transform our lives.
Food storage/placement: To do this we ask that the food not be put on the table till the final blessing song of worship. Please leave the food in catering cases or on the ground under the tables. We do this so that we can focus on worship and then the meal. If the food is set up earlier, people will begin to form a line during worship. It’s okay for there to be a bit of lag time between the end of worship an the start of dinner.
Also, please refrain from standing behind the serving tables during the worship service. There is a natural inclination to get a jump start on setting up, but we ask that you please leave everything as is until the service is completely finished.
Servers: To keep anxiety low, and to help make a more integrated community, we invite members from CITN to help serve food each week. This means that not all of the members from your community may be able to serve food. Some groups serve in shifts, so that everyone has a chance to serve food.
-remember this may be someone’s first meal of the day.
-please take time to say hello to each person who comes through the line, keeping your voice and tone low to keep anxiety from growing in the line.
Greeter Role: We will have a member of CITN be the greeter at the start of the line, welcoming people and offering them their plate, utensils, or to-go containers. This will free some of your members to have dinner and conversation.
Please Eat! This is a community meal, so we encourage you to eat! If people see that you’re not eating, it creates an “us and them” mentality. One easy and fun way to break this down is for us all to eat together.
Gloves: Please make sure that anyone handling food is wearing gloves. Also, remember that the gloves are to protect the food, so if you touch your hair, face, nose, garbage, even food trays, etc while wearing gloves, please throw those gloves away and put on a new pair.
To Go Containers: to eliminate waste and to foster a community atmosphere, we will be keeping to-go containers inside until everyone has gone through once. Please refer to the first person in line to know when it is time to bring out the to-go containers. Someone may tell you that they are in a hurry to catch a bus. Unfortunately, our policy remains the same to keep it fair, so please politely ask this person to wait.
Seconds: There is often a lot of confusion and frustration around seconds. Firstly, please know that is CITN staff and community responsibility to monitor seconds. People are welcome to seconds, thirds, even tenths, once everyone has had a chance to eat. Usually we wait for the line to die down, so that all the people who lined up initially have gone through at least one. This applies to sandwiches, too.
Our leadership team and interns are available to introduce you to members and facilitate conversations.
We ask that you bring a generous amount of food. When serving there can be stress over having enough food for everyone. Some members take meals to go for friends and family who could not make it to the meal – this is fine and welcomed. We have our service and meal on Sundays not because it’s the day of worship but because there are no community meals on Sunday.
Snacks while waiting – you may want to bring granola bars, PB cracker packets, etc to hand out while people are waiting. It’s a great way to meet people and create a welcoming environment while people are waiting.
Worship We hope you will bring a contribution to worship. It can be a prayer, music, spiritual reflection, skit, ritual or other element, which is special to your community. Please contact Pastor Steph by the preceding Wednesday with what you are planning to offer at worship so we can find an appropriate place in the order of worship. She can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-575-0845.
Other ways to connect
Financially - Any and all donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will go to helping sustain Cathedral in the Night ministries. Donations may be made online at www.cathedralinthenight.org or by check. Checks may be made out to: “Cathedral in the Night Ministry” and mailed to: Cathedral in the Night; 867 N. Pleasant St. Amherst, MA 01002
Donations – Your church may like to collect donations – this is a great way to involve more people in the ministry. The most helpful things are sleeping bags, large coats, gloves, hats, scarves, hand warmers, clothes, non-perishable snacks, and gift cards to Dunkin Donuts or Brueggers Bagel (with about $5-10 on the card).
Coffee Hour – Tuesdays 10-11 am at Haymarket Cafe on Main Street in Northampton
Join us each week for coffee and conversation. It’s a great chance to build relationships and relax. Currently we are practicing the Examine from Ignatius Spirituality. We share our highs and lows from the week, looking at where we saw God and where God felt far away. This is a great practice to try each night at your dinner table. (A great resource for this is a small book called Sleeping with Bread: holding what gives you life by Dennis Linn)
Bible Study – Thursdays 10-11am at Haymarket Cafe on Main Street in Northampton’s
All are welcome to join us for our new Bible Study each week. We will be experimenting with different approaches to the scripture and will rotate leadership.
Veterans Program – Weekly meal Wednesday form 12-1:30pm in Northampton WWII club
We are expanding our ministry to create communities for Veterans. Currently we have a weekly meal on Wed. at the World War II club from 12-1:30pm (50 Conz Street in Northampton). We would love for this to be a place of connection for veterans in your congregations. Cathedral is working on this initiative in partnership with The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Cathedral in the Night. For more info or to get involved, please contact Rev. Chris Carlisle email@example.com
Checks may be made out to: “Cathedral in the Night” and mailed to:
Cathedral in the Night
867 N. Pleasant St.
Amherst, MA 01002
If you have any questions don't hesitate to be in touch!