Common Threads

In the almost 12 years we’ve been married, Maggie has had quite a few different jobs.  Each of these jobs and their incomes has benefited us significantly; in the early days  hers was the primary income while I was in graduate school.  Income hasn’t been the only benefit from Maggie’s assortment of jobs: she regularly brought home books for me while at Christianity Today; I was introduced to the realities of suburban poverty and those serving the hidden poor through her case management at Outreach Community Ministries; these days we are eating very well as a result of all Maggie is learning at her two part-time cooking jobs at The Chopping Block and Common Threads.

Teaching about culture and cuisine before beginning to cook.

Last Wednesday I joined Maggie’s team of volunteers and helped with the cooking class she teaches as a Chef Instructor for Common Threads.  Her eager class is made up of Chicago Public School students from a South Side elementary school. There are a lot of smart people working to support CPS students in Chicago and it seems like Common Threads is doing their small part to contribute to these students’ success.

Some final thoughts from the chef after enjoying a homemade meal.

Each week the students in Maggie’s class learn a few things about a different country and then cook a healthy meal from that country.  And they really cook: knives, flames, the whole deal.  At the end of the semester the students receive a cookbook of all of the recipes they’ve cooked.

Seeing Maggie in her element- teaching, cooking, organizing -was a gift and I’m glad to know she gets to work a job like this.  I’m also glad to know that these students have such a terrific chef instructor!

Author: David Swanson

Pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Bronzeville. Collecting signs of life.

7 thoughts on “Common Threads”

  1. I’m so proud of Maggie and so glad you got to see her in this role. I’m thankful for the photos you shared, too. Maybe someday I’ll get to shadow her, too!

  2. She is so cute in her bandana. Looks like she is in her element and what a nice thing for you to do, to go visit and watch. That speaks volumes to her. She gets to see you at work alot! You are a good husband!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing the photos and background story! I’m often very jealous that she makes money by talking about different cultures and cooking delicious food! So cool.

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