ABOVE PHOTO: Volunteers from St. Michael’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran Churches gather around the banner that advertises the free community meal served every Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm at St. Michael’s, 6671 Germantown Ave. A meal will also be served on Thanksgiving Day from 11 am – 1 pm. Info: 215-848-0199 or [email protected].
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Mt. Airy, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Lafayette Hill, will offer a free, sit-down Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day from 11 AM – 1 PM at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 6671 Germantown Avenue. The meal is open to all.
The dinner is part of a joint ministry between the two congregations called “Holy Hotdish” This ministry provides a free community meal every Saturday from 11 AM – 1 PM at St. Michael’s. Last week, nearly 90 people along with volunteers gathered for a home-cooked meal and conversation.
The Holy Hotdish Ministry grew out of a Lenten Devotional Study on Hunger that was held last spring and the commitment of both congregations to live out our calling through service to others. The two congregations partnered to find away to respond to needs in the Northwest Philadelphia area regarding hunger and to provide a link to resources. They began the weekly community meal in early June.
The numbers of those attending have steadily risen and the resources to provide the meals have been contributed by individuals and local businesses.
Linda Manson, one of the coordinators of the ministry, explained that Holy Hotdish is a way for the Church to be a living presence in the community and to build a connection to our community that goes beyond the Church walls. “It’s about meeting people where they are, with no strings attached,” says Manson.
Holy Hotdish is also an example of how two congregations can work interdependently to do effective ministry. St. Michael’s has strong ties to the local community and along with St. Peter’s, there is an unwavering commitment to social justice ministries. Both congregations feel called to this ministry and have continued to reflect on the spiritual lessons derived from the work.
Manson commented, “We are blessed by serving and connected through serving. The people who come to the meals, are our guests but they also give to us. We offer food but they share who they are through rich conversations, a smile, and fabulous musicians who spontaneously sit down and play the piano. It is a circle of giving and receiving.”
Volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to offer assistance, please contact St. Michael’s Church Office at 215-848-0199 or [email protected].