Members of all denominations gather Wednesdays during lent at the First United Methodist church for lunch and fellowship (file).
Members of all denominations gather Wednesdays during lent at the First United Methodist church for lunch and fellowship (file).

Lenten Lunches unite different denominations

Published 10:35am Thursday, March 13, 2014

By GINNY COOPER / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO—For over a decade, members of almost every different denomination in Montevallo set aside their differences and gather for hearty soup, salads and homemade desserts every Wednesday at noon during the season of Lent.

“It’s a wonderful fellowship and it’s a lot of fun,” church secretary Nancy Simmer said.

During this ecumenical gathering, pastors from the Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches in the area give a brief message on the journey from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday and Easter day.

“A lot of us are already friends, but we don’t get to hear the others preach. We wouldn’t normally get to do that,” explained Buddy Freeman, a retired Methodist minister and president of the Montevallo Area Ministerial Association, the sponsoring group for the event.

Freeman emphasized that the lunches are a time of community fellowship, and a manner in which to “worship in a simple way during the season of Lent.”

The mission of the lunch ministry is simple.

“It’s a time for Christians of all denominations to gather and enjoy fellowship and prepare ourselves for Good Friday and Easter,” Freeman explained.

The ministry has grown every year, and an average of 80 to 90 people now gather weekly for the meal and message.

“We just about fill up the fellowship hall every week,” Freeman said.

Lenten Lunches cost $3 and take place every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Montevallo. For more information, call (205) 665-7535.

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