National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

The stew that grew

July 2014

by Rebecka Colldunberg

Soup and singing. For centuries, millennia even, these two words have represented more than food and entertainment; they are well worn stones on the pathway to comfort and healing.

The Kolec household at Our Saviour’s, Knox, Victoria, was one very special family who stripped mission back to basics. In 2000 they began inviting members of their congregation into their home after worship on one Sunday each month, for a simple lunch of soup followed by a time of singing.

Sadly, after several years the fellowship event (which had grown steadily in popularity) ceased when circumstances changed and the home was no longer available.

‘After a period of the fellowship’s recess, at our 2012 AGM some members raised the question of how this activity might once again be taken up by the congregation’, congregation chairperson Judy Bowman explained. ‘So the investigation began into how we could recommence what had become known to all as “Soup and Singing”.’

While the congregation had members who were willing to provide soup and assist with the meal, a suitable home equipped with a piano or organ wasn’t available. Nor was it possible to use the church facilities, which were used by another church group on Sunday afternoons. However the congregation—Knox by name—did not take ‘knocks’ by nature and found a way around the problem.

‘We decided to offer Soup and Singing as a mid-week, monthly activity from our church building, as a communitywide hospitality program and part of our mission outreach’, Judy said.

A trial was commenced and it became clear that the hurdles the congregation had faced were actually blessings in disguise. The new Soup and Singing fellowship blossomed, with more and more people coming every month.

‘It soon became apparent that we were severely restricted in what we could do out of our church building, due to our very limited and small kitchen facilities’, Judy said. ‘We realised that if we wished to extend our hospitality activities we would need to make significant upgrades in this area. So we began the process of applying for funds through the Mission Stimulus Grant.’