Hoping to build on the success of its mini food bank, Calvary Presbyterian Church on Fremont Avenue will hold a banquet on its front lawn Oct. 4 to celebrate World Communion Sunday.
Members of the church will collect ingredients for a banquet of nonperishable food on Saturday that will be stored in the church and then opened to the public for those who are hungry and in need of food.
“We have been really moved to see countless people throughout the community, as well as members of our own congregation, participate in our mini library that we turned into a food bank once the [COVID-19] pandemic hit,” said the Rev. Millason Dailey. “So the World Communion banquet table is an extension of that.
“It only seemed fitting to have the table on World Communion Sunday. Liturgically, we always emphasize how everyone is called to come and eat at Christ’s table, but it is hard to visualize that most Sunday mornings. Turning the Communion table into a food pantry is a very real and tangible way of seeing that theological reality.”
Dailey pointed to the many things that the congregation has already done, including having a community garden that is available to anyone who is hungry and wants fresh produce. The church has also worked for years with St. James’ Episcopal Church and its food bank. Calvary also received a grant from its denominational Synod for creative hunger ministry.
The church is using the money to cover expenses of partnering homeless shelters with small local restaurants. A restaurant caters the meal, the people eat fabulous food and Calvary covers the expenses.
Anyone who is hungry or in need is welcome to come and take food on Sunday morning, Dailey said.
“Food scarcity has always been a problem in America, and with the pandemic, those numbers are continuing to rise,” she said. “We are just hoping that everyone will practice safety precautions and common sense — wearing a mask, touching only the items you are going to take and practicing social distancing.
“At the end of the day, we want everyone who comes to feel welcome. That’s another way in which we are hoping that this Communion table will represent a theological reality.”