At All Saints’ BBQ is Sacramental 

It happens twice a year here in Morristown. Well at least it happens twice a year in non- pandemic years. We have BBQ in the fall and the spring. The build up for BBQ is slow and gradual. The planning behind the scenes is deliberate and intense. So many moving pieces have to fall into place for a BBQ weekend to be successful. 

We start planning for the next BBQ as soon as the last one wraps up. While the event is still fresh in our minds, we have a postmortem meeting to discuss what went right, what could have gone better, and how we might improve. Then we rest for a couple of months before we get ready for the next BBQ. 

A group of 15 or so faithful parishioners have been meeting for months carefully planning for October 6-8, 2022. This year we had to order a new tent to replace the one the windstorm destroyed last spring. We also made the decision to buy shelves to store equipment inside the church downstairs. We can also use the same shelving to hold orders for our growing corporate sales. 

A dozen people met a couple weeks ago on a Saturday morning to brew 110 gallons of All Saints’ BBQ sauce. We started at 8:00 AM and finished around 1:00PM. Under the leadership of Bob Harmon the whole event went off like clockwork. Bottling the whole inventory of sauce took place last week. 

Careful calculations were made and then checked and rechecked to order the required 6000 lbs. of pork butts, slaw makings, beans, and all the serving containers. Here again we are grateful for Bill Connellee for his amazing attention to detail to get these orders in on time. Susie Carter is our Queen of Slaw and Brooke White is our Queen of Baked Beans. The production of both BBQ sides require the coordination of numerous volunteers. 

John Hutchins and Udo Wender are the two pit masters who oversee the all-night flipping and sauce basting of the pork on Thursday and Friday. Two shifts of trustees help with the labor of turning the pork butts every hour. Countless wheel barrels full of hard wood scraps are hauled and carefully turned into coals that slowly smoke and cook the pork butts. When the meat comes off the pit there is an army of volunteer workers waiting and ready to grind the meat, weigh it and package it. Some of it is made into sandwiches and plate dinners. 

Inside the parish hall cardboard has been put down on the floor to protect it from all the constant back and forth traffic. Patty Kirkley & Kathy Jones-Terry head up tracking the Corporate sales. John Litz lets us borrow his gator to haul cooked meat up the hill. There is a beehive of activity constantly bringing out food and supplies to the tent where the sales are made. Of course we’ve gone high tech with a point of sales ordering system that allows us to keep track of everything thanks to Skeet Jernigan. Inside the church office Lynne Ann Anderson has been taking orders for a couple of weeks and that weekend works overtime to account for all the sales. 

Jack Fishman graciously spreads the word about All Saints’ BBQ through the Citizen Tribune and Anne Ross uses digital media and the Chamber to do the same. Carolyn Dean works with Tribune on placing our ads. The wardens of the parish, Howard Mauney and Colleen Andrews, have been tirelessly working behind the scenes for months, “herding the cats,” all the while listening to complaints and suggestions. The job is never ending and it’s always a work in progress. 

At some point you begin to see that this is really much more than a twice a year fundraiser. It’s a community of faith coming together with the goal a common purpose. It’s a labor of love that serves the wider community of Morristown. It brings us all closer together and let’s people know who we are. Before coming to Morristown I never really thought that BBQ could be sacramental. Having witnessed firsthand how much goes into each All Saints’ BBQ event, I can now see it all in a new light.