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Lutheran church tries to bring community vision to life with free Saturday breakfasts
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Pastor Alix Pridgen’s congregation had a vision for the future.
Trouble was, Pridgen was having a hard time seeing how they could get there.
She had worked with lay leaders and members for two years on a plan for keeping the church relevant in the 21st Century. During that process Pridgen had heard the same vision over and over again: their church would be a place where people from all backgrounds came together. The ideal, they said, would be a multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-generational congregation.
Pridgen loved the vision, but the challenge of bringing together a diverse mix of people in an area known for its homogeneity seemed formidable.
“In November I preached and told the congregation about the results of our process and the vision we had,” she said. “In all honesty, I didn’t see it happening.”
But a reading of the story of Jesus’s feeding of the masses shortly thereafter got Pridgen thinking. She’d seen so many stories about how poverty rates in Johnson County were climbing. What if the church could find a way to help those in need, and bring a diverse community to the church at the same time.
The idea for Saturday’s Miracle was born.
The congregation got to work figuring out how they could provide a weekly free meal service using the commercial kitchen and dining hall they had in their basement. After help from Harvesters, Village Presbyterian Church, and Metro Lutheran Ministries, they were able to begin serving free breakfasts on Saturdays. They opened their doors for the meals on March 26.
Though attendance at the events so far hasn’t been as high as the congregation had hoped, members say they’ve seen hints that achieving their vision may be possible.
“All of us here have really united around this program,” said Mike Duff, who helped get food ready last Saturday. “We know it’s going to take a little while to gain traction. [Taking advantage of a free meal] has been a totally new thing for some of the families we’ve served.”
The meal service is free and open to anyone each Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 9100 Mission Road.
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