It 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.