Tag Archives: Community Dinner

Day 266: Community Dinner

28 Dec


Cream Cheese Pear Tart

Cream Cheese Pear Tart topped with Toasted Almonds

On the last Wednesday of every month, our church puts on a community dinner. It is free to whoever wants to come and join us and we usually provide one main course, several soup options, several salad choices, vegetables, bread and dessert. Last month we served over 95 members of the community at our dinner and we didn’t have much in the way of leftovers.

Tonight was our last community dinner for the year and the person in charge, Kathy, emailed me for entree ideas. Since I love macaroni and cheese, that is what I suggested. It’s also easy to make and kid-friendly. Kathy liked my suggestion and we met at the church around 3PM to begin prepping for dinner.

There were a few other key players there then: Marilyn and Gene, Pat and Dick, and Sue Anne. The dining area was beautifully set up and we had three great salads made when they all had to leave. That left me, Kathy, and Kathy’s friend, Shari, to get ready for dinner. At that point I think we all thought, “Yikes”, but we did not panic. We just crossed our fingers that all would work out. And it did.

We made a lot of food (because 95 guests had shown up last month!) but less than half of that showed up tonight, perhaps due to the unusually warm evening. That meant that we had an abundance of food and we were able to send folks home with food for another meal or two and they all thanked us for that.

Tonight I thought I would give my “pie of the day” to a family or group of friends at the dinner. There was one full table in the room with a family that spoke Spanish and I approached them with my pear tart. I used my best language skills but still needed a bit of help from their children to explain my pie project. They all were very gracious and thanked me. One of the daughters told me that she would even check out my blog. It was a very sweet moment.

And what followed was even nicer. As we headed back to the kitchen to attack the mountain of dishes that had been created, this family stayed and helped us put the chairs and tables away. We did not ask them to do this but we were so very grateful for their help. Who knows, we might still be there now if they’d not offered to assist us.

All in all, everything worked out just fine. Maybe it was because we were crossing our fingers… or maybe it was because we were doing something good and we had angels working on our side.

Day 228: Melissa

20 Nov

Recently I came across an article by Isha Judd, the author of “Why Walk When You Can Fly.” In the article Isha refers to a tragic plane crash and speaks of the unpredictability of life. Here is an excerpt from that article:

We are reminded that life changes, sometimes abruptly, dramatically, unexpectedly. What is present in one moment can be gone in the next: no matter the nation, no matter the motivation or the cause, loss moves us all, for we have all experienced it in some way or another.

But just as life is unpredictable, it is also wonderful. The opportunities to share love, to discover the best of ourselves, to discover selfless giving and inner evolution in every moment are always present.

Sometimes we don’t see those opportunities until someone else shows them to us… and my friend Melissa is the kind of person who does just that. About two years ago Melissa began a campaign at the First Presbyterian Church to host a community dinner one night a month. The amount of work that went into that effort was daunting, yet Melissa persevered. She continues to put time and money into this cause where her only rewards are the smiles that she receives from the grateful people that have been welcomed and fed.

Melissa has shown us how to reach beyond ourselves to those who are in need in our midst. I know I speak for many when I say that we appreciate what she has done… and this afternoon I brought a Dutch Apple Pie to Melissa to thank her for being such a kind and compassionate role model.

Don’t forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it. –Hebrews 13:2

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