Lenten lunches marking 20th yearBy Emily Beckett Published 7:54pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Virginia Littlefield saw a mixture of familiar and new faces coming through the food line Wednesday at Walnut Creek United Methodist Church’s second Lenten lunch this year.
Littlefield was one of six women preparing and serving the food at the lunch, which was part of a series of weekly Lenten lunches the church has held leading up to Easter Sunday every year for 20 years.
She and her two sisters, Carolyn Popwell and Marilyn Popwell, were the first three who committed to cooking for the annual lunches.
Norma Lou Popwell, Carolyn Hardy and Nina Tippett are additions to their group and were busily serving vegetable and potato soups and chili to guests Wednesday.
“I enjoy just fixing and doing it for the church,” Littlefield said. “This is an outreach for the community, too.”
A program with a singer and a speaker accompanies each free lunch.
Wednesday’s program included Zion Ridge Church of God’s music minister Eddie Lightsey, who sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” and the Rev. Daniel Wilson, pastor of West End Baptist Church, who delivered a message about Jesus Christ paying for man’s sins when he died on the cross.
The invocation was given by the Rev. Mike Cleckler, pastor of Zion Ridge Church of God; and the Rev. Jake McCall, pastor of Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church, did the benediction.
The Rev. Tony Hughes, pastor of Walnut Creek UMC, said the Lenten lunches are a church-wide endeavor aimed at providing food and fellowship to anyone who comes to the church at noon on the designated Wednesdays of the Lenten season preceding Easter.
“This is something we want to do, but we don’t want anyone to pay for this,” Hughes said. “That’s one of the great purposes—come and let’s get ready for Easter together.”
Hughes said the lunches should not be defined by location or denomination, noting that the speakers and singers lined up for the programs span the spectrum of local churches and religious groups.
The remaining Lenten lunches will be: March 6 with Howard Daugherty and the Rev. Randy Reid; March 13 with Ernest and Jan Fike and the Rev. Matt DeBord; March 20 with Adrian Barrington and the Rev. Jake McCall; and March 27, the final lunch for 2013, with Lisa Abbott and Hughes.
“It’s a very diverse group of people,” Hughes said. “It has been a great way for our church to reach out to the community.”