Tim's experience running huge street festivals in London and Honolulu for upwards of 20,000 people, probably played a role in his ability to orchestrate a wonderful event week after week. His background as a music producer has also had an impact. From the beginning, Tim made sure there was live music for folks to enjoy during dinner. When the pandemic forced them to switch to a drive-through operation, the music continued.
"We have used my PA to pump out Motown, Boogie-Woogie, Soul, Disco, even Led Zeppelin," shared Tim. "Just about every guest that comes through tells us how much they love the music. When they’re waiting in line, they turn off their engines, open the windows, and enjoy the party sounds. Often, they’re dancing in their seats when they roll up to the distribution stations." He adds, "To me, this weekly event absolutely satisfies my need to be providing celebrations for the community."
In 2019 alone, St James' served 15,789 meals! It's an impressive figure which has since been dwarfed by the numbers they are reaching today. From January through July of this year, they have already served over 14,000 meals!
Meanwhile, twenty miles away at St. Columba's, the Rev. Linda Lundgren saw a need in the community of Pa'auilo, triggered by the pandemic. It wasn't long before she and Sue put the wheels in motion for a community meal to be served out of St. Columba's. On April 21, 2020, they held their first community meal distribution and have since served over 5,000 meals. They plan to continue it every Thursday.
St. Columba's doesn't have an adequate kitchen, so the meals are prepared at St. James', then transported to St. Columba's where volunteers package and distribute them. With the St. James' kitchen now pumping out close to 1,200 meals each week, nearly 3-1/2 times more than pre-pandemic times, the challenge to sustain the program has been taxing. In July alone, they spent over $10,000 for the two weekly events, costs that were covered by meal sponsors and grants secured by Tim. With the added work involved, they are now seeking a part-time meal coordinator (paid) to help Sue with the St. Columba's meal.
Recently, St. James' started up a Meal Intern program to involve youth and young adults in the meal program. "There are many youth in our community taking time off from college, staying home for the time being while they plan their next move, and looking for direction," said Tim Bostock. "We can be a safe place where they meet and talk with other youth and adults, develop social and practical skills, learn how to lead, and discover the many and enormous benefits of volunteering for their community. We, in turn, are boosted by their energy and positivity, and have way more fun because they’re around."
At right is Grace, one of the interns, prepping a meal.
In closing, I share a few words from Fr. David Stout's Sunday sermon a couple weeks ago that were profound in its simplicity. With the uncertainty of our times, he tells us not to ask "What now? but What if?" With those few simple words, he changed hopelessness into hope.
It is clear that this shepherd cares for his flock and knows how to inspire them to "think outside the box," always trusting in the Lord to guide them.
And, being the humble person that he is who always deflects credit, Fr. David shared this: "Please donʻt use any [pictures] of me. They are the ones that deserve all the praise. I am blessed to be a part of this amazing group of servants. What they have accomplished and are accomplishing is nothing short of a miracle. Peace be with you!"
I am pretty sure they are feeling blessed too.