Submitted by: Rev. Gail Alexander, Faith UMC (West St. Paul)
Each summer, Faith UMC in West Saint Paul hosts three Friday night suppers at neighboring Covington Court, a low-income housing community near the church. The congregation has been providing these dinners at Covington for the past nine years, and they are a key way in which church members share God's love and reach new people in their community.
The church provides supper and entertainment, and at the most recent event on Aug. 16, the church made a free backpack available to every child and youth. Both parents and children were grateful for this gift, with school beginning very soon.
Fifteen church members hosted the event and served dinner to the 150 people who came to the August event. The entertainment for the evening was the "Baron of Bubble," who brings equipment so that the kids can enjoy making their own large bubbles.
Many residents at Covington have come to enjoy and look forward to these special evenings, and members of the church have formed relationships with them over the years. Those from the church ask how residents are doing at work and at school, and find out when they have experienced health issues. Church members have watched some of their children grow up.
Faith UMC serves this same population by helping to provide summer meals at local schools; many of the same children come to both events, which further facilitates the relationship-building that takes place.
Thanks be to God for the ways both church members and community members are blessed by these opportunities to be in fellowship!
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church