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Church marks Maundy Thurs. along with ‘laundry’ outreach

Special service: Parish Deacon C.J. VanSlyke and the Rev. Bill King of Trinity Episcopal Church prepare to serve the Lord’s Supper during a Maundy Thursday service at Suds R Us in Clanton after a quarterly Laundry Love outreach. (Photos by Chanel Bingham)

Special service: Parish Deacon C.J. VanSlyke and the Rev. Bill King of Trinity Episcopal Church prepare to serve the Lord’s Supper during a Maundy Thursday service at Suds R Us in Clanton after a quarterly Laundry Love outreach. (Photos by Chanel Bingham)

By Chanel Bingham | Special to the Advertiser

 

Trinity Episcopal Church’s Maundy Thursday worship service followed a more, perhaps, unique outreach.

The church holds “Laundry Love” quarterly at Suds R Us in Clanton. The outreach began in Ventura, Calif., and was inspired by the answer given by a homeless man when asked, “How can we come alongside your life in a way that would matter?” He replied by saying, “If I had clean clothes, I think people would treat me like a human being.”

That honest and practical answer led to an idea that has served to minister to over 450,000 people to date. Trinity recently partnered with the Laundry Love effort, along with Suds R Us owner Tom Cuthbert, to bring the ministry to Chilton County.

Once a quarter, from 4-7 p.m., Trinity offers free laundry, providing enough quarters to wash up to five loads. They have held the event a few times over the past year, but Thursday’s outreach was especially meaningful, as they were able to hold their Maundy Thursday service on site.

“This is a moment of prayer and hope, and it may be the only moment someone has had in a peaceful way all day,” the Rev. Bill King said.

Quarters for everyone: Trinity provided free laundry for customers during the outreach.

Quarters for everyone: Trinity provided free laundry for customers during the outreach.

Thursday’s outreach saw a large turnout, with some being surprised by the unexpected blessing.

“I think it’s really good that the church is actually helping people. I was surprised to come in and see that they were offering this. It was a blessing to walk in and get free laundry. It’s awesome. It uplifts mankind, and lets you know that there are good people out there,” James Tucker said.

“I think it’s a very nice thing. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was wondering why it was so crowded. Then I found out what they were doing, and I just thought it was nicest thing in the world,” Quentero Hollenquest said.

Feeling blessed: James Tucker was one of the customers grateful for the unexpected gift of free laundry.

Feeling blessed: James Tucker was one of the customers grateful for the unexpected gift of free laundry.

In addition to receiving free laundry, everyone was able to enjoy a Maundy Thursday service, led by King and Parish Deacon C.J. VanSlyke.

The service began with the singing of “Shall We Gather At The River,” followed by prayer and the reading of God’s word. The service concluded with everyone partaking of The Lord’s Supper.

Sud’s R Us owner Tom Cuthbert said he is thrilled to partner with Trinity Episcopal Church in this outreach endeavor.

“This is our fourth time doing this, and it is growing steadily. I haven’t seen the numbers from today, but so far we have reached nearly 100 people through this ministry,” Cuthbert said.

For more information about upcoming Laundry Love events, call Trinity Episcopal Church at (205) 755-3339.