What are you doing for dinner this Wednesday night? The Barrington community is hosting a free dinner to bring neighbors together at a local church and we’re all invited. I’m serious. They want us all to be there, so why not check it out? Did you know the group that puts on this “Community Dinner” hosts one every month? Their goal is to encourage and strengthen friendships, share kindness, inspire hope and demonstrate that Barrington welcomes others and embraces a spirit of community.
The Community Meal is the idea of a young woman at Barrington’s Lutheran Church of the Atonement. Her name is Mary Hasse and I’m told she was just out of college when she had the idea to start this monthly meal in the summer of 2009.
It has grown to include seven or eight local churches who are part of the Barrington Area Ministerial Association. They alternate and host a Community Meal on the second Wednesday of each month. Meals typically include a spaghetti dinner with garlic bread, salad, a homemade dessert buffet, lemonade and coffee. Thanks to Mary’s hard work, businesses like Costco and Jimmy Johns have donated the food and church members bake the goodies.
The Minister of Outreach at Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Ann Pride, says, “The community was feeling like times are changing, people are losing their jobs and falling on hard times and it felt like a really good time to start something to help people feel that they aren’t alone and that they are part of a bigger community despite what may be going on with them personally.” Ann gives a lot of credit to Mary Hasse for helping bring people together.
If you’d like to check out The Community Meal, we’re all invited to their monthly dinner this Wednesday, March 23rd. The Barrington United Methodist Church is sponsoring the meal, but it will be hosted in a more central location, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Admission is FREE and dinner will be served between 5 and 7PM. You’ll find St. Michael’s at 647 Dundee Avenue in Barrington. If you’d like to learn more about The Community Meal and ways to get involved, check out their blog at TheCommunityMeal.Blogspot.com.