Local Angel Brings Soul Warming Meals, Outreach and Fellowship to Our Community
Susan Gulden leads the Hamilton Mill UMC Kitchen Angels in an incredible ministry.
The Kitchen Angels of Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church are well known in the church for serving up delicious, soul-warming meals on Wednesday nights. But what is not commonly known is that this ministry also warms our community by supporting local charities and giving God the opportunity to warm the hearts of its members.
Susan Gulden organizes the Kitchen Angels and leads this ministry in their dedication to serving the church and our community.
“To me it is an opportunity for me to be a servant, and that is important to me,” Gulden said. “I have been serving in the Kitchen Angel ministry for eight years, and organizing the team for five years. When I started we had about 30 members, and now we have over 100 Kitchen Angels.”
On Wednesday nights, the group prepares meals for 100 to 200 people who come to the church to participate in a number of ministries including Kid’s Choir, Oasis, and several Bible studies.
“Hopefully people feel welcome to come to dinner on Wednesday nights and then go to Oasis, our family service or get involved in a Bible study,” Gulden said.
After the Wednesday night dinners, this ministry reaches beyond the walls of the church and shares their soul warming meals with those in need.
“When we have left-over food, we share it with Meet the Need, a transitional home for men who are leaving prison and transitioning out into the community,” Gulden said. “We do not let anything go to waste.”
In addition, the Kitchen Angel ministry also prepares meals for other local organizations.
“We serve a few other organizations including the Atlanta’s homeless Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Grace United Methodist Church, and the Gwinnet Children’s Shelter,” Gulden said proudly. “The church also has a soldier support group, and we help them by preparing a spaghetti dinner once per year on Veteran’s Day.”
As you can see, this ministry is doing amazing things with the food that they serve out of their church kitchen. But according to Gulden, the most powerful impact this ministry has happens before the meals are even served.
“The most rewarding part of this ministry is to feel the Holy Spirit moving in the kitchen,” Gulden shares. “Taking ordinarily folks who are in there chopping onions and slicing tomatoes, and giving them the opportunity to serve and do amazing things. I can feel His presence working in the folks to do all sorts of different things to serve our community and our church.”
Gulden believes that the Kitchen Angel ministry makes people feel like they are a part of a group; it promotes fellowship and it helps people feel like they are needed. Because of this, the ministry also serves as a platform for conversation, and new ministries are often created just from people talking in the kitchen.
“From a conversation in the kitchen, someone mentioned a crafting talent,” Susan explained. “This conversation lead to a ministry that created beautiful new Christmas decorations for the church. And recently someone who was not even a member joined us in the kitchen; she brought her talents to the church and helped launch the new emergency response team.”
To become a Kitchen Angel, you don’t have to be a good cook or even a member of the church. This group welcomes anyone searching for a place to enjoy fellowship and serve our community.
“All you need is a desire to come in and make some friends, and you certainly will,” Gulden said. “Once you do get in there and start working it is kind of contagious, you feel like you are a part of something that matters -- and you are!”