The Church Supper

church supperIt happens twice a year at my church.  Once in the spring (today) for the fish fry and then again in the fall for our annual roast beef dinner.  It takes weeks of ramp up and preparation for both and for an aging congregation it becomes more and more of challenge but something in me wishes it were an event that could continue for every generation.  Sadly, it won’t but in the mean time do we ever have fun.

The volunteer work that goes into church dinners includes everything from selling tickets to doing dishes and taking out the trash.  It is a time when people’s talents as sales agents, cooks, wait staff, organizers, and general labourers shine…or not.  Pie makers are the stars of the show but they are getting hard to find.  We get men doing things they never do at home.  They like mashing potatoes much better when they get to use their drill attached to a masher to do it.

The ticket sellers usually don’t have to work too hard to make it work because people look forward to a great meal at a church.  There is a sort of circuit of dinners and the same people show up at many of the church suppers in the area.  It becomes a great place to meet friends and it is also a place where the boundaries of beliefs vanish, and people just enjoy one another.

Most of the people who will show up today will be older folks but there will be a few kids in the crowd.  They always brighten the place up.  The workers are all from Mt. Zion United today but there are fringe folks who are related or friends of the congregation who will be enlisted for the event.  For some it is the closest they will ever get to going to church and that is OK.

If I get there soon enough I get to be the traffic cop and try to get people filling up the tables in an orderly fashion rather than all “higgilty piggilty”.  When that’s done I’ll get to do dishes.  The rules are like Grandma’s house.  Everyone works until the work is done.

I think the very best part of the event is when those of us who have worked all get to sit down and eat together after everyone else is gone home.  It’s family time and is filled with laughter and joking.

If you have never been to a church supper, it’s worth finding one and giving it a try.  Even better is joining the work crew.

About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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