It was a week without the usual cadre of kitchen volunteers, so a call went out to Bethesda employees to come and help. We set up for dinner, served the meal, and did the dishes.
Paul did the first wash with the power sprayer. I staffed the wash, rinse and sanitize sinks and put the dishes in the dishwasher tray. My next-office colleague and her daughter loaded the tray in the industrial dishwasher and put the dishes away.
Spray. Wash. Rinse. Sanitize. Load. Unload. Repeat.
I began to reminisce about service dish-washing.
When I was around 13 years old, I helped my mom and other women do the dishes after a congregation dinner. Sometime later, mom came home with a gift for me. One of the women doing dishes that night gave me a cookbook for helping out. What an amazing, unexpected, grown-up affirmation. The raisin sauce I serve with ham is a lasting recipe from that cookbook.
During her two years of confirmation preparation, daughter Annie (now Pastor Annie) was expected to do service in the congregation and in the community. At that time, Sunday mornings often found the three of us in three different places in one church building. I decided we should all join the Altar Guild—Annie would earn abundant service points and the Edison-Swift family would spend more Sunday morning time together.