Sunday, August 2, over 300 cars formed a steady stream of locals intent on delivering a big in-person welcome to the new head priest of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, CA. Cars brought bags and boxes of canned goods to the parking lot of the church’s hillside campus as donations for Neighbors4Neighbors, a food distribution outreach of St. Margaret’s, in honor of new priest The Rev. Andrew Butler.
More than 3,500 pounds of food was safely dropped off in a No-Touch zone run by volunteers.
“I am grateful that even in these difficult times so many members of St. Margaret’s came out to support their hungry neighbors. They are living out the ideal that Jesus asked of us.” said Butler.
Earlier, In his Sunday sermon Butler said, “How appropriate that today’s gospel is the story of feeding the five thousand with just two fish and five loaves of bread. If you want to see a miracle, come see the number of families that are fed here at St. Margaret’s. A miracle is happening in the parking lot.”
Butler arrives in Palm Desert along with his fiancé, Olly, from Riverdale, Bronx, New York where he served as Rector of Christ Church Riverdale for six years.
Tuesday of every week Neighbors4Neighbors provides food for more than 700 families under the leadership of church staffer Chet Hecht. “The Covid pandemic has caused more and more residents to turn to us for assistance with food,” said Hecht.
“I watched the live feed of my fellow churchgoers on Facebook and was moved to tears by the outpouring of love and support for Fr. Andrew and the hungry,” said parish lay leader Jan Romerdahl, who is visiting family in Idaho.
“It was a morning filled with welcome, joy and abundance,” said Margo Baxley, a parish member who served on the search committee who identified Butler as the new parish priest.
Butler and his fiancé were driven to the event in a red ’57 Thunderbird convertible provided by El Paseo Cruise Night, a group of classic car enthusiasts.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church is located at 474535 Highway 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Online services including Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are available at www.stmargarets.org.
In the Episcopal Church all are welcome.
Contact: Fr. Andrew Butler, Rector, 973-943-7349 email@example.com
Jan Romerdahl, Senior Warden, 509-990-5651 firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Davidson, Junior Warden,
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