By Linda Arguedas
Her apron read “Matthew 5:13” and displayed a salt-shaker. “This is a full-service day”, announced Dr. Elaine Lovelace, to a group of volunteers wearing red aprons. But Elaine was not referring to the Easter church service. Easter Sunday April 5th was the twelfth annual full-service dinner for the local York community, prepared and served by members of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church York, PA.
“The annual Easter dinner idea started 12 years ago with a small “Foyer Group” who realized churches serve a meal on Christmas and Thanksgiving. They wondered why not Easter since it is the major feast day of the Christian calendar. So, they got busy and organized the luncheon. Since that time we have had growing success,”said parish rector Canon David Lovelace proudly. This year over 300 people were served Easter dinner. Added to the mix some years ago were takeout meals for First Responders. This year twenty-one meals were prepared by 11:30 am for the men and women First Responders who were working on Easter Sunday. Meals were also prepared for local firefighters and local police on duty arrived during their lunchtime to enjoy a hot meal.
All the food is donated either by parishioners or as donations by gift-cards from local food markets. This year one parish family alone donated 15 hams and home-made coconut cream and peanut butter eggs were donated by a parishioner who purchased them from a traditional Lenten fundraiser at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Columbia PA. The meal consisted of baked ham, broccoli, cheese and corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, rolls, drinks and cake. And candy - in baskets and on the individual tables as decoration.
In charge of the parish kitchen for the luncheon was parishioner Grant Froman, an experienced chef who at one time worked at Disney World. Froman is also a volunteer fire fighter for York. “This is one of my ways to offer my time and talents and give back to the church and the community,” said Grant. “I am fortunate to be able to take time off from work to help prepare meals for those who are less fortunate.”
“This is church,’ said Elaine smiling as she and Grant opened the doors to the parish hall inviting in residents of the York community, “Happy Easter – we are glad you are all here!”
And on this Easter Sunday there was resurrection and new life as the parishioners of St. John the Baptist York provided community to the homeless and those alone, truly walking in love with Christ.