By Christopher M. Riggs
After being a part of serving over 1.3 million meals to the hungry of Wichita, Wendy Glick feels it’s time to move on to the next course in her life.
Glick, who has been with the Diner since its opening on Feb. 13, 2002, has announced that she will resign as executive director on July 15.
“I am very proud of the Lord’s Diner and have been very blessed to bring Bishop Gerber’s vision to life every day for the last nine and a half years,” she said in a videotaped interview last week. “As I begin to move on and reflect and pray over what God is calling me to do next – like Bishop Gerber says – it’s not Bishop Gerber’s diner and it’s not Wendy’s diner, it’s the Lord’s Diner and we know that the Lord will continue to watch over it and bring to it a new leader who will take it into the next decade of what it will be and who it will serve.”
Glick began as the first volunteer coordinator for the Lord’s Diner, moving from a similar position at Catholic Charities. She applied for the position of director in March of 2003, after the original director resigned, and was chosen from among 68 applicants.
“Lives have been changed here at the Lord’s Diner since we opened and nobody’s life has been changed more than my own,” she said. “I have been so touched by all of the volunteers, which was why I wanted to come and work at the Lord’s Diner.”
Glick said her intent was to provide volunteers the opportunity to give back, to serve, to help make a difference in the community, and to practice their faith through stewardship.
“My passion for that helped, I think, in a small way, to develop what is known in this community as one of the largest volunteer programs – now with close to 7,000 volunteers.”
Working with the volunteers and donors has been a blessing, Glick said, but what has touched her most has been working with the guests, many of whom come for more than food, they also come for fellowship.
“That’s what touched my life the most, I think, in the last nine and half years, getting to know our guests. They are not all that different than you and me – in fact they are the same – they are always looking to be valued, to be known, to have somebody who shows them and offers them a little bit of caring. And I think that’s what we all look for in this world.”
Glick says she is comfortable stepping down now that the Lord’s Diner on South Hillside is serving the hungry in that part of Wichita. About 200 people are fed nightly at the location at 2825 S. Hillside and about 600 at the location at 520 N. Broadway, across from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
“None of us ever imagined that we would be serving close to 800 people nightly in our community,” she said.
Glick thanked Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber for his vision in founding the ministry and also thanked the diocese, staff, donors, and volunteers.
“The mission of the Lord’s Diner is a pure and true mission of following Christ’s footsteps in feeding the hungry,” she said. “I’ve been so blessed to be a part of this ministry. May God bless those who are involved and continue to bless all those who are served at the Lord’s Diner.”
Bishop Michael O. Jackels said Glick’s “joy of service is contagious and she will be greatly missed.”
Msgr. Robert Hemberger, diocesan moderator of the curia of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and Lord’s Diner advisory council member, said he is grateful for Glick’s service to the diocese and the hungry in our community.
“Wendy has a multitude of gifts that have served this ministry well,” he said. “She has organized, operated, motivated, encouraged, built and loved the volunteers, donors, and most importantly those seeking to be fed. To say she will be missed is an understatement. We wish her the very best and are truly grateful for her dedication and contributions to those less fortunate.”