Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks be to God....

In this week of Thanksgiving, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve God in such a wonderful and  unique way with the Five & Two Food Truck.  December will be a special month for our ministry as we will help our friends at the Presbyterian Night Shelter celebrate Christmas.  We are in the middle of a tremendously successful campaign to gather new school uniforms for the children at the shelter.  

In our time with the mothers, children and support staff, we discovered that most of the children at the shelter only have one or two changes of school clothes.  Many of them come in under emergency status and may not have any proper clothes to go to school.  This drive will fill a great need at the shelter.  Something as simple as a fresh set of school clothes can give dignity and confidence to young people facing uncertainty and fear.

That is one of the greatest parts of the Five & Two Food Truck, it is truly a vehicle for ministry.  Sure, we serve great food to those in need, but more importantly we get to know those with whom we are in ministry.  In doing so, we are able to discover their needs and make lasting relationships.  

We are so thankful to be be actively making disciples for the transformation of the world.  I pray that you are able to reflect on what you are thankful for this week.  

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Saturday night, children all over the city dressed up in their costumes, grabbed their bags or pumpkin baskets and went door to door trick-or-treating.  At least one night each year, people of all ages actively participate in “neighboring.” 

The Five & Two Food Truck was asked to be a part of a neighborhood Halloween carnival and we were delighted to accept the invitation.  A dedicated group of volunteers served almost 300 hot dogs to little superheroes, goblins and princesses in the neighborhood just behind our church.  These are our immediate neighbors, and for one night we took our church to them instead of asking them to come to us. 

That’s the beauty of our food truck ministry.  It allows us to be neighbors anywhere in this city, which the church is called to be. 

How much of a difference could be made in our world if we treated every day like Halloween, if we went door to door to check on our neighbors, have conversations,  meet new friends and build relationships? 

Curious how to do this?  I encourage you to take some time to check out this website:  http://artofneighboring.com/  

The United Methodist Church’s mission statement is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  AHUMC is able to literally take our church into the community, any community, and we do.  We are actively neighboring all over this city and by doing so, making disciples and transforming the world.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Birthday Wish

Try to remember the last time you made a birthday wish before blowing out the candles.  What did you wish for?  A pony?  A new toy?  To be able to fly?  To win the lottery?

More than 40 youth and adults from AHUMC volunteered at the Women and Children's Unit at the Presbyterian Night Shelter tonight!  What an amazing evening as we dined together and shared in crafts, bubbles, board games and decorating pumpkins. 

I had the privilege to be a part of a small birthday celebration for a little six year old girl living at the shelter.  There was a small cake, and ice cream melting in this hot October sun.  After we sang Happy Birthday, the birthday girl quickly blew out her candle.  "Wait, wait," said her mother, "You didn't have a chance to make your wish."  "Yes, I did," she replied.  "I wished for a house." 

They all clapped and hugged her.  What a great wish. And a great reminder about what's important.

I pray that her wish comes true.  It does for so many at the Presbyterian Night Shelter.  Shortly after, I had a conversation with a young woman who had dined with us last month.  She said that she wouldn't be seeing me next month as she found a great job and has been approved for housing.  Praise God! 

We may not be able to solve homelessness in Fort Worth with one event, but we're going to be part of the solution.  We can provide a meal, an ear, a shoulder, prayer and compassion. 

Join with me to pray that this little girl gets a home, that Christ is represented by the Five & Two Food Truck, and that, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.  On earth as it is in heaven."


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kingdom Building

What an amazing month September has been!  To date, the Five & Two Food Truck ministry has served over 3,000 meals.  We have had more than 50 volunteers from AHUMC and other congregations participate in this ministry in the last three months, and every time we roll the truck up for an event there has been a new face with a God is Good T-shirt.  The energy that this ministry gives both volunteers and those we serve is amazing.  We have achieved our goal of being a recognizable and anticipated part of the lives of our friends at the Presbyterian Night Shelter as we serve delicious meals, but also form relationships and pray together.  

We were invited to serve the lunch at the Justice For Our Neighbors national meeting in Grapevine, and were able to share our story with pastors from around the country.  As we all work together to build the Kingdom in our own special ways, it is wonderful to be able to share a meal together.

Rev. Amy Mercer and a group from Western Hills UMC in El Paso were our special guests at the Patriot House on September 17.  They are looking to start their own Food Truck Ministry, and were able to spend the day with Rev. Allen Lutes and the volunteers.  It was a wonderful day of discussing our passions for being in ministry with the poor.  What a miracle to see this idea of bringing food and faith to those in need through a food truck spreading!  

In the 9th chapter of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples "The harvest is plenty, but he laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest"  As disciples of Jesus the Christ, we are responding to His call.  The Lord has certainly sent laborers out into his harvest with the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry.  We are Kingdom builders together, thank you for your time, your prayers, your gifts and your service with this ministry.  

Monday, August 31, 2015


Several members of the AHUMC staff traveled to Seattle this spring to be a part of the Inhabit Conference.  The purpose of this event is to brainstorm and hear new ideas of how to "be the church" in our local communities.  The term "neighboring" was tossed around throughout the weekend, and it is one that specially applies to the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry.  How well do you know your neighbors? What are you doing to meet your neighbors?  This is a question the church should constantly be asking herself. 

The Five & Two Food Truck ministry gives us a unique ability to take the church out into our neighborhoods ... and not just the one surrounding our beautiful church building.  It allows us to truly be neighbors in Como, on East Lancaster, in Ridglea, on Crestline, on the TCU campus, and on and on and on. 

When Jesus took five loaves and two fishes and fed the multitudes, I'm certain that neighboring took place.  People who previously did not know each other or were convinced that they previously wouldn't like each other shared a meal and discovered they were more alike than they thought. 

On Sunday, we were privileged to help our neighbors at Trinity Episcopal Church celebrate their Homecoming Sunday.  We served lunch and had fellowship with over a hundred of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Everyone was excited about giving a donation because of the good work we are doing in building the Kingdom of God.  We're doing this Kingdom building together as we go out and participate in "neighboring." 

 Do you know your neighbors?  Do you want to share a meal with those neighbors you don't know yet?  Help us transform the world and build the Kingdom:


Monday, August 17, 2015

National and International News!

God is Good all the time and all the time God is Good!!  The Five & Two Food Truck Ministry is busy these days and others have taken notice of the good things that this ministry is accomplishing in building the Kingdom of God.  Here are some links to some of the articles that have been written about the ministry:





We are so blessed to see this ministry succeed!  We thank God for placing this ministry on our hearts and being with us as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors, even around the globe! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Family Reunion

Sometimes I can't believe my own eyes.  The dream of this congregation for the Five & Two Ministry was realized, and every time I get behind the wheel of the truck, I am humbled.  We are making a difference already!  God is working through this ministry!  People know what is coming when we roll up: good food and people who genuinely care about them.  

We have had the privilege of serving dinner to veterans at the Patriot House and women and children at the Presbyterian Night Shelter.  Dedicated cooks at AHUMC have prepared well rounded meals to serve out of the Five & Two Food Truck, and believe me, people are loving this food!  

Beyond the physical hunger needs that are being met, we are making relationships.  The Prayer Shawl ministry handed out over 50 prayer shawls to mothers and their children at our first visit.  The atmosphere each time is like a big family reunion.  Adults playing with children, folks eating together and sharing their stories, praying with one another, laughing and enjoying the simplicity of fellowship and food.  

All a very real reminder that we are all God's children and should get together for a meal more often!  

There are many more family reunions to be had all over this community.  Thanks to God, we have a church "on the road" that can go to all of them.  I hope that you share our prayer:

For food and fellowship, 
For the miracles of the 
loaves and fishes, 
For hope and grace,
For being in ministry with
our neighbors,
Lord, we give you thanks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


What an incredible few weeks for the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry!  We officially dedicated the truck after worship on June 7, and we had a fantastic time together in fellowship.  Fort Worth, TX Magazine was there and wrote a great article on our ministry:

An Unusual Entrant

During the last day of the Annual Conference of the Central Texas Conference of the UMC, the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry was highlighted as a special and unique ministry during the Mission Support presentation with a wonderful video:
Five & Two Video

We followed up with the Mayfest Wrap Party and are gearing up for our first meal at the Patriot House at the Presbyterian Night Shelter this Thursday.  July will be a busy month as we add a fellowship meal with women and children at the shelter, and hopefully become a regular presence at the Thistle Hill Food Truck Park in the hospital district.

God is moving and working in our congregation and our community, and we are blessed to be able to answer God's call with the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry.

Already, after conference and the article in Fort Worth, TX magazine, we are receiving calls about how we can partner with other churches and agencies in our community and our state to help eliminate hunger and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in need. 

When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick. That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.”
Matthew 14:14-16

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feeding ... Everywhere!

Whew!  This has been the hardest "soft opening" in the history of openings!  We are officially commissioning the Five & Two Food Truck on June 7, but when the community caught wind of what we were doing we got busy sooner than we expected. 

The original plan was to do the April 25th Race for the Cure event as a trial run and use May to get everything in place to launch the ministry in June.  Obviously God had other plans.  We got invitations for May events from Mayfest and Betsy Price’s Compassionate Community effort that collaborated with Feed the Children Everywhere.


On May 1, Five & Two fed over 300 people at a special opening of Mayfest for FWISD special needs children.  This past weekend, we served hundreds of volunteers who were participating in the Feed the Children Everywhere event where over 300,000 meals were packed to be sent to Mexico, Africa and right here in Ft. Worth. Our next event will be feeding Como Food Pantry clients and volunteers.  June will begin with the Dedication of Five and Two on June 7, followed by an appearance at the Central Texas Annual Conference, June 8-9.


Beginning in June, we will begin serving dinner to 30 homeless veterans once a month at the Patriot House and in July we will begin serving dinner and ministering to over 100 women and children at the Presbyterian Night Shelter, also once a month.

There is so much excitement about this new ministry, both in the community and within our AHUMC family.  It is humbling and overwhelming to know that we are able to respond to God’s call to help “the least of these.”  This is has been a great few weeks and we are looking forward to an amazing first year of the Five & Two Food Truck Ministry!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Twelve Baskets

"And all ate and were filled; and they took what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full."  Matthew 14:20
Abundance,  noun: 
1. an extremely plentiful or over-sufficient quantity or supply:
an abundance of grain.
2. overflowing fullness:
abundance of the heart.
3. affluence; wealth:
the enjoyment of abundance.



Wow!  This past Wednesday, we offered a Food Handler's class to anyone who would be interested in volunteering on the Five & Two Food Truck.  Much to my surprise, over SIXTY people filed into the fellowship hall to be certified!!  What an amazing affirmation of the support of this new and exciting ministry!  We will have no shortage of willing and certified food handlers to work on the truck at our upcoming events.  Speaking of which, I'd like to highlight the first three events that Five & Two will be serving food.

  • April 25th, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
                   Serving breakfast tacos
  • May 1st, MayFest:  FWISD Special Needs Day
                   Serving lunch to Special Needs students and teachers
  • May 15th, Como Food Pantry
                   Serving a "thank you" breakfast to volunteers

We hope you can join us for one or all of these events, contact Allen at alutes@ahumc.com for more information!

I've been testing the recipes that we'll be "selling" for donations at multiple locations and the AHUMC staff got the chance to try it out.  Big thumbs up for our Street Tacos, Cuban Sandwich and Mushroom Swiss Burger! 

The Children and Horizon Seekers Sunday School Class donated the most cans to our recent canned food drive for WestAid (we gathered almost 600 cans total!) As a prize for winning, these two groups get to name two of our menu items!  The Children have the task of naming the Grilled Cheese sandwich from our children's menu and the Horizon Seekers have the naming rights of our Pulled Pork Street Tacos. 

It is truly humbling to see God's hand at work in this ministry

The excitement is building and we are ready to get rolling in a few short weeks. 

See you on the road!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

God is Good!

God is Good! 

As we near the first public appearance of the Five & Two Food Truck, it is exciting to see God at work in this ministry. 

We will be serving breakfast tacos at the Fort Worth Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on April 25th.  This will be an excellent opportunity to serve God by supporting this cause, but also allow us to share our dreams about this ministry with the thousands who are expected to attend. I hope you can join us there!

I was blessed to spend a few hours at the Presbyterian Night Shelter last week taking a tour and exploring how we can best serve our homeless neighbors. 

  • Currently the Presbyterian Night Shelter is housing 45 women and 80 children between the ages of 3 days and 17 years old.  We will be partnering with the shelter to provide a meal to these women and children once a month as well as providing fellowship and guidance for the women and spending time playing with the children.  
  • Also at the PNS, there is a unit called Patriot House which houses 30 homeless veterans.  We will also be providing a meal and fellowship for these men once a month as they struggle to get back on their feet.   Both of these opportunities allow us to be in ministry WITH those in need. 
  • Many families at Cook Children’s are “long term.”  As such, their finances are often stretched and it is difficult to eat affordably.  Also, frankly cafeteria food gets old.  We are working to partner with Cook Children’s to identify those families who are “long term” and will be offering them vouchers for a free meal at the Five & Two Food Truck which will be parked in the Thistle Hill Food Park at least once a month.  

We are not alone in building the Kingdom of God.  These partnerships allow us to work in community with others to help share the love of Jesus Christ as we break bread together. 

Jesus commanded us to “care for the least of these” in Matthew.  These are just a few of the ways that we plan to do just that.  Your continued prayers and support are greatly appreciated. 

Want to help?  Contact Allen Lutes at

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Beauty of a Loaf of Bread

Image result for loaves of bread

Every third Friday, several members of our congregation and I volunteer at the Como Mobile Food Pantry.  We help distribute healthy food to hundreds of our neighbors who are in need.  My job is typically to help carry the heavy boxes and bags of food to the cars of those who are unable to do so themselves.  I always enjoy meeting new people and learning a little about them as we walk together. 

Yesterday, one of the last people in the line was an elderly gentleman.  He took quite a bit of time at the last “station” which holds all the bread.  As we walked out to his car, he asked me if I had ever seen a loaf of bread and just thought about how beautiful it is.  He searches for beautiful loaves of bread when he can, and was very thankful to receive two loaves which he deemed beautiful.  It’s not the visual beauty that he is talking about, however.  He explained that the most beautiful part of a loaf of bread is its inherent cry to be shared with others.  He can’t eat a whole loaf by himself in one sitting, so he seeks out others who can break bread with him.  If he can’t find someone, he shares it with the birds.  They are all God’s creation, he explained, and he loves the fellowship that can be discovered over that shared bread.

I commented that there was a reason that Jesus broke bread that night in the Upper Room, and that we continue to do so today.  His face lit up.  “You get it,” he said.  When Jesus gathered his disciples together the night before he gave His life for all, he broke the bread and told them to eat “as this is my body, given for you.  Do it often in remembrance of me.”  We gather in houses of worship and partake in the sacrament of Holy Communion.  Today was a reminder that the breaking of bread and communion need not be limited to within the walls of the church, or in a liturgical context.  Communion can be had over shared meals, even when one is sharing with birds in the park. 

“Do this often in remembrance of me.”   

The Five & Two Food Truck ministry seeks to bring the living Christ out into the world.  As we meet our neighbors where they are and break bread with them, we are doing so much more than feeding the hungry.  We are proclaiming the beauty of a loaf of bread, the beauty of communion and fellowship and the beautiful Gospel message that Jesus loves them. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five and Two

In the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus and the disciples were faced with a crowd of over 5,000, the disciples told Jesus to send them all away to get food as it was getting late.  Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat.”  When faced with what seemed like an impossible task of feeding so many in need, the disciples wanted them to fend for themselves.  Jesus had other plans, however.  He tested them. 

“You feed them.” 

In the Gospel of John, a small boy brought forth his meager five loaves and two fishes and offered them up to feed the huge crowd.  That boy had the faith that the disciples lacked at that time.  And with those five loves and two fishes, the crowds were fed.  There were twelve baskets of leftovers after all had their fill.

“You feed them.” 

When we look around at the number of homeless in our community, the thousands of children who do not know when their next meal may be, and the working families struggling to feed their families, it seems an impossible task to address these problems.   Arlington Heights UMC has heard the call to “give them something to eat.”  Through the Grace of God and the support of this congregation, we have been able to purchase a food truck.

“You feed them.”

                We have many dreams for this ministry, which include:

  • Feeding the homeless healthy meals at times where accessing meals are difficult.
  • Feeding children on free and reduced lunches healthy snacks and meals in the “gap times”
  • Providing VBS at city parks and community centers
  • Hosting cooking classes to help families on SNAP learn to prepare healthy meals for their families
  • Feeding first responders and victims of natural disasters

“You feed them.”

                I am pleased to announce that the Food Truck Ministry has a name: 

Five and Two:  A Street Food Ministry of Arlington Heights UMC. 

We are currently working on a logo design for the truck, and the Food Truck Ministry Advisory Board will be meeting tomorrow night to begin the planning process of putting the truck on the streets of our community.  We are asking for your prayers as we plan ways to make a difference in our community by bringing the church directly to those in need.

We have listened to God’s call on this church and are excited to respond by being the hands and feet of Christ in our community. 

“We will feed them.”

Friday, January 23, 2015


The dream is being realized.  A food ministry has been a dream of mine for a very long time.  A little more than a year ago, Arlington Heights United Methodist Church was introduced to the idea of food truck ministry.  Through the grace of God and the support of this congregation,  I was able to pick up the food truck yesterday.  I cannot begin to express the excitement that I am feeling at this moment.  It is humbling and amazing to see God at work.  As I look at this blank canvas of a truck, I see endless possibilities to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community.  Hunger is a real and serious problem in our world and right in our backyard.  We can make a difference by feeding the physical needs of the hungry, while at the same time building relationships and communities to allow God to use us to address the hunger of the spirit.  In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us how to respond to the “least of these” among us.  The AHUMC Food Truck Ministry will be a powerful and unique way to live up to this command.  Stay tuned for more information as this ministry is created and launched.  I am grateful to all who have helped make this happen, and to all who are stepping forward to help as we move forward.  It’s going to be hard work, but the harvest will be plenty.  Let’s get cooking!