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Restaurant Rovers Annual Report January 2014

Submitted by Matthew Potter

In 2013, I revived the Restaurant Rovers Ministry and rebranded it as “Food for the Soul Fellowship.” The name was Caroline’s idea, after she and I discussed the goal of this fellowship/ministry. The idea was for the diners to retrace their Christian roots through a culinary experience. We would trace the spread of Christianity (really the church) by eating in regions where Christianity began and then spread to. Jerusalem Café in Oak Park was a symbolic start for our first outing on June 16th, due to its name, as well as having Mediterranean food. I recall eleven attendees for our first dinner.

The second outing was on July 14th. The diners traveled to Greece as we dined at Opa Estiatorio in Oak Brook Terrace. This was a recommendation from Stea. This was our largest gathering with over eighteen diners, five of which were children. Emilio’s Tapas in Hillside was the location of our third dinner on August 25th. I recall fifteen diners at this Spanish restaurant. The fellowship went on a “diet” so to speak after Emilio’s. My Aunt became more ill and she would pass away in early October. The Holidays were then upon us and 2013 had come to an end.

As I reflect upon this fellowship, I became more assured that my original purpose of the ministry was valid. I browsed through the “A Timeline of Church History” brochure from the church. In reading that brochure, I learned about the “five historical patriarchal centers- Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople. To date the “Fellowship” attendees have dined in Jerusalem, which leaves four of the original Christian pillars; Antioch (Turkey), Rome, Alexandria (Egypt) and Constantinople (Turkey) unvisited.

A “fun fact” that I am keeping track of as we travel the culinary globe is the distance Christianity has spread. I am using Jerusalem as Christianity’s home base and calculating the distance Christianity traveled. Based on internet calculations, from Jerusalem to Toras, Greece is over 800 miles and to Toledo, Spain is some 2235 miles. I appreciate all those who attended the diners and our fellowship in 2013. I look forward to 2014 and the new places Food for the Soul will fellowship together, and what we can learn about our Christian ancestors, from their past culture and cuisine.