Victory Lutheran’s annual dinner for community this SundayWith 19 turkeys and eight gallons of green beans, one church welcomes the old, the young and especially the lonely this holiday season. The Victory Lutheran Brethren Church annual Christmas dinner is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
With 19 turkeys and eight gallons of green beans, one church welcomes the old, the young and especially the lonely this holiday season.
The Victory Lutheran Brethren Church annual Christmas dinner is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Last year, the church served almost 500 meals — a number the church expects to exceed during today’s tough economic times.
“Now the need is probably more than it was then,” said Kris Meidinger, organizer.
Organizers prepare the meal for anyone, she said, families and individuals, seniors and college students and the poor and the wealthy.
“Somebody might have a ton of money but be lonely,” she said.
The meal costs the church and the 230 or so who worship there about $1,200. Church members and grocery stores like Hugo’s and County Market make donations as well. Lunch is provided free to all who attend. Serving others is a gift from God, said the Rev. Shawn Bowman, head pastor at Victory Lutheran.
“Christmas is about ‘what can I give someone for Christmas?’” he said.
The givers consist of about 50 volunteers, including Meidinger, who’s organized the event for each of its six years.
“Everyone kind of has their own little role in there. And then we’re exhausted by the end of the night,” she said.
Volunteers help clean, set up and prepare the 10 cans of cranberry sauce and eight gallons of corn.
For Erv Sahr, the meal’s preparation begins the evening before when he roasts some of the turkeys at home. A regular in the kitchen, Sahr cooked while he served in the National Guard for 22 years until retiring in 1989.
He said he knows his way around an oven and likes to shake hands and mingle with those enjoying the dinner.
“Sometimes just a smiling face and a tender word… There’s a lot of lonely people in this world,” he said.
Victory Lutheran asks for nothing in return, Bowman said. The meal isn’t about soliciting donations or increasing membership, he said.
“We just feel it’s a gift. This is a gift that we get to serve Jamestown,” he said.
Victory Lutheran is located at 510 Ninth Ave. S.W.
For the homebound, the church will deliver meals. To reserve a delivered meal, or, if you’d like to volunteer, call the church at 251-1570 before noon Saturday.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com