Feeding our Faith
On Sunday mornings, congregants flood the Madison campus parking lot, eager to get to the week’s worship. Right outside the entrance to greet them is a van and cart, both shrink wrapped to imitate a cartoon cow.
Branded on the side is “The Holy CoW,” or the Church on Wheels. What presents as a food cart is actually a mobile church that also serves food.
In the following months, both congregants and community members will see the Holy CoW in action at local events, providing meals and offering new opportunities to worship.
The CoW aims to explore the intersection between faith and food.
“[The Holy CoW] is a tool that we’re going to use to get out into the community and get outside our four walls to get to build relationships and explore the intersectionality between faith and food,” Pastor Joe Brosious said. “We need to get out there and get the church out to people … where they’re at as opposed to expecting them to come to us. And we really think the CoW will help us to do that in a creative way.”
Food is a great equalizer, Pastor Joe said. Though it may present as a food cart, the Holy CoW is a certified new-start congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America that happens to serve food. A mobile church is a way for Good Shepherd to continue to actively serve the community and meet people where they’re at.
What originally started as a tow vehicle and an empty trailer, has now transformed into a cart with a fully functioning kitchen, complete with a steam table, a convection oven, a fridge, and a panini maker.
The synod took over the cart over a year and a half ago from another congregation, when it was called Table of Joy. To make it Good Shepherd’s own, the church held a naming competition, where the Church on Wheels was submitted. The Holy CoW seemed like a natural progression from there and fit right in with Wisconsin dairy culture.
The CoW has already started the process of debuting in neighborhood. In the coming months, it’ll make appearances with Life 102.5, a Christian radio station, to help with some of their annual fundraisers, different events, farmers markets, and fairs. The CoW will also be holding free meals Thursday nights throughout the summer in and around Meadowood, starting at the church.
So far, the ministry – also known as the Moo Crew – has made appearances at Good Shepherd events, like Vacation Bible School, handing out freeze pops and comfort food.
“People connect through food and we’re used to that as human beings,” Pastor Joe said. “[The Holy CoW] breaks down barriers and allows people to feel like it’s a safe space and approachable and allow the opportunity to have conversations that we would never be able to have from people coming through our doors.”
Want to get involved in the Moo Crew? Contact Pastor Joe or Rick Thomas, or visit us at Holy CoW Ministries.
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