“I live alone. It’s hard to cook for just one person,” says Lydia Mandau. At Scott Street Church’s weekly lunch event, she has opportunity for “a good meal” and “fellowship.”
“I just love it,” says Mandau.
“We work hard to provide a great-tasting, nutritious meal for only $5 per person,” says Sabrina Wiens, church life and community outreach pastor.
Paul Moore, director of seniors’ ministries, leads a short devotional after the meal.
The church’s location on the corner of Scott and Vine in St. Catharines is strategic for building community with older adults who comprise a big part of their historic congregation and the mid- and high-rise residents around the church building.
“Through this ministry, we are hoping to help meet the physical, spiritual, and social needs of those who come,” says Wiens.
“I’m excited to see what other opportunities arise as we learn about their interests, hobbies, and needs.”
“I come for the fellowship and community,” says Linda Gray, a lunch attender. “I get to love on all the people who come and they love on me.”
With any proceeds made from the luncheon, the church sponsors children – from the congregation and the community – to attend Camp Crossroads, the MB summer camping ministry in Torrance, Ont.
“It’s a two-way street: we get an amazing meal and the blessing of knowing that we’ve helped these kids and they get a life-changing experience at camp,” says Gray.
“I never had the opportunity to go to camp as a child. But I think it’s good that God can work in these children’s lives and I can be part of that,” says Mandau.
In October, Scott Street starts an introduction to technology and social media course after lunch to teach older adults how to use a tablet or smartphone and navigate the internet safely.
“In addition to helping them participate in the world, it will also allow them to connect more easily with their children and grandchildren,” says Wiens.
Interest in the course has been so great, Scott Street is already planning a second round. Additionally, there are plans to bring in experts throughout the year to speak on topics like legacy building, accessing healthcare, and budgeting on a fixed income.
“Lunch at Scott Street adds value to the people who come for lunch each week. It adds value to the volunteers who get to use their gifts to do something good. And it adds value to the children who are able to go to camp and experience God,” says volunteer Monica Oppenlaender.
“It’s so great to see God work as we simply share a meal and get to know each other,” says Wiens.