“Meals,” the Rev. John Wesley Taylor notes, “have always been the gathering point for folks in churches through the years.”
A new free community supper program starts at the First United Methodist Church from 6 to 7 p.m. this Wednesday for this reason.
The Agape Kitchen will invite community members for prayer, food and socializing, with “no agenda except ‘you’re loved, and you’re not alone,’” says Taylor, First United Methodist’s pastor.
Organizers also are reaching out to “families in transition,” who reside in local “little small motel rooms.” he says.
“This way, they get to be with others,” Taylor says.
“No one will know who’s who, because it’s going to be community folks, church folks, older folks that live on their own. What we want to do is intergenerational fellowship, and no one needs to be identified about who needs the physical or the spiritual food. We all need both.”
The idea came from church member Sandy Campo, “who’s in the food service business,” Taylor says.
“It’s amazing. People that have all the money in the world to buy food, no one likes to be alone,” he says.
Taylor says that “Agape is a Greek word found in the New Testament that means love. It is an unconditional and selfless love that God has for all people.”
“’Agape Kitchen,’ we thought, ‘Everybody needs food and love,’’” he says.
Church members will prepare the food, and “some will be brought in,” Taylor says.
Five or six Agape Kitchens are planned for the year, he says.
“If it catches on, if people are open to it, which we think will happen,” organizers hope to have six or seven Wednesday dinners “and have some fun for the kids, too,” Taylor says.
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