CENTERBURG — In what is now a Thanksgiving tradition, three Centerburg churches come together to prepare a meal for the community. The United Methodist, Grace Lutheran and Center Pointe congregations work together providing the food and cooking the meals at the Centerburg Elementary School cafeteria.
One of the church members involved with the project, Janet Potter, said the Thanksgiving dinner was originally designed to provide a meal for those in need in the community, in addition to what The Salvation Army and Interchurch Social Service provided. Now it has expanded, and for the last three years, the congregations have invited area residents to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner.
Invitations were advertised in the community through the local newspapers and through fliers in stores, and was also spread by word of mouth. A worship service with about 100 people was held in the cafeteria in the morning; those attending then helped arrange the cafeteria tables for the diners. Serving started at noon and Potter said diners were lined up at the door for the dinner.
Last year, food was prepared for 250 diners; this year the number was raised to 300 dinners. For those who took meals to shut-ins or chose to eat at home, take-out was provided. At each table setting was a slip of paper with a prayer for providing the meal, and a blessing from the churches. Coloring books were provided for children and a donation box was available.
The meal prepared was just enough, with very little left over, Potter said.