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Free lunches focus on Lent season

Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday in which believers prepare themselves spiritually, mentally and physically for the holy day.

Since 1995, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church has hosted weekly lunches each Wednesday during Lent. The lunches are free to the public and consist of homemade soups, chili, cornbread and dessert.

Each luncheon includes a relevant message from a guest minister and a musical presentation. Guests are pulled from the larger community of churches, regardless of denomination.

The first luncheon is Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“These special ladies of the church work very hard to prepare the meal for the guests, picking and freezing the ingredients for the soup during the fall before Lenten season,” said church member Bill Attaway. “Our pastor, Bro. Tony Hughes, takes great pride in this special time.”

The following is a schedule of Lenten luncheons, along with guest speakers and singers. All times are from noon until 1 p.m.:

Feb. 24: speaker, Tony Smitherman; singer, Eddie Lightsey

March 3: speaker, Rusty Fulford; singer, Sunny Mays

March 10: speaker, Randy Reid; singer, Kayla Carroll

March 17: speaker, to be announced; singer, Adreane Barrington

March 24: speaker, Patti Beam; singer, Patti Beam

April 2 (Good Friday): speaker, Bro. Tony Hughes; singer, Jennifer Baker

Easter will fall on Sunday, April 4.

“The lunches have been extremely well attended, and we’re very grateful for that,” Hughes said. “This is our way of offering the larger community a way to get ready for Easter. In my opinion, it’s one of the best things we’re able to do all through the year.”