Community dinners welcome everyone

| March 20, 2018

COSHOCTON – Five area churches have taken on the task of providing a hot meal for the community every Thursday evening.

Providing a meal for close to 100 people isn’t easy. Between 20 and 30 volunteers help the week their church holds the meal. The volunteers may not be able to attend that evening, so they provide food or desserts. Each meal also has greeters and people to set up and tear down tables. Preparing, serving and cleaning up the meal also requires many volunteers.

Debbie Wallace, community meal coordinator for the Presbyterian Church said that several years ago, there was a program called Circles where people met at a church, had a meal, then a short meeting. “When Circles ended, we wanted to continue to offer the meal, so it sort of grew from that program.” Wallace said she enjoys getting to know the people who come to the meal every month. “It’s always wonderful to hear about what’s going on in their lives.”

The Coshocton Nazarene Church started providing meals as a way to serve the community. When another church had to stop serving the community meal, the Nazarene Church jumped on the opportunity to fulfill an important goal – to help the community in any way they can.

Debbie Myers is the coordinator for the Grace United Methodist Church meal.  “We usually have a volunteer give a short message and we love to sing songs. It gives everyone a happy feeling to sing together. Our devotional/prayer starts at about 5:20 p.m. and we begin serving supper at 5:30 p.m.”

At Roscoe United Methodist Church, the pastor provides a short message for their meal, according to Shirley Norris. “I’ve noticed that we have a few multi-generational families that come. They enjoy the meal while they catch up. We have a small craft for children each week and thanks to the Friends of the Library, each child gets a book to take home with them.”

Pastor Philip Hunt, from Central Christian Church, said these meals fill a need in the community. “Churches need to reach out beyond their walls.” He provides a short message during their meal.

Each church celebrates birthdays and anniversaries of anyone attending the meal.  The meals are free and volunteers want to stress that the meals are open to the entire community, not just for those who attend church. The evenings are planned as a fun, relaxing way to hear a message of God’s word and to make new friends.

Community Dinners Schedule

  • First Thursday at the Presbyterian Church on Fourth Street at 5:30 p.m.
  • Second Thursday at Coshocton Nazarene Church on Orange Street at 5:30 p.m.
  • Third Thursday at Grace United Methodist Church on Walnut Street at 5:30 p.m.
  • Fourth Thursday at Roscoe United Methodist Church on High Street at 5:15 p.m.
  • Fifth Thursday at Central Christian Church on Main Street at 5:30 p.m.

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