FBC-Hudson prepares for Christmas lunch

Dec. 16, 2012 @ 08:50 AM

Lunch on Christmas Day has become somewhat of a tradition at First Baptist Church of Hudson the last few years. That tradition will continue again this year when church members open the doors of the fellowship hall to feed those who want a meal and fellowship on Christmas.

The fourth annual lunch offered free by the church, located at 345 Main St. in Hudson, will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 25.

The outreach project for the church started in 2009 with the Wade Dellinger Sunday school class providing lunch for those alone or working on the holiday and has grown since that time.

“It really has been a wonderful community outreach,” said Happy Austin, one of the event’s organizers. “ It’s one our Sunday school class gets excited about each year. It really has grown into a labor of love.”

Austin said church members outside the Wade Dellinger Sunday school class also get excited about the meal and can’t wait to be part of it. Members of other churches also help prepare, serve and clean up the meal when it its held.

“It’ something people look forward to all year long,” she said. “As soon as we finished last year, people were asking, ‘When will you start planning for next year?’ ‘How can I be involved?’ and ‘What can I do to help?’ It has become such a good thing for our church and the community.”

Weather played a role the first two years of the event, but people still turned out to eat and to assist with offering the meal. More than 400 people came out in 2009, and that number grew to more than 600 in 2010 despite about 6 inches of snow that fell on Christmas Day. Last year was the biggest turnout, with more than 750 people served.

“It’s just like any other effort; if it touches you, you’re likely to tell others about it,” Austin said. “That’s what we’ve seen happen.”

The free meal will consist of ham, turkey, candied yams, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, rolls, dessert and drink. People can spend time eating the meal and enjoying a time of fellowship at the church. However, the meals also will be provided for shut-ins, people who don’t have a way to attend and emergency workers and others who have to work on Christmas Day. Members of FBC-Hudson will deliver the meals to various organizations, such as both Caldwell County Hospice units, the Shelter Home of Caldwell County and fire, rescue and law enforcement agencies that have staff members on duty.

Meals will be taken to the homes of those who can’t attend, and church members are seeking help from the community to identify those who need the meal on Christmas Day.

Austin said the meal does come with a cost in terms of purchasing the food, but funding never has been an issue.

“God provides exactly what we need,” she said. “It has been such a blessing. We have the finances, the food and the volunteers.”

The meal also gives members of FBC-Hudson an opportunity to share God’s love with others, to show them how much He cares for them.

“We want people to come out for the meal, and all are welcome to come to our church anytime,” Austin said. “This is a way for us to share God’s love in a very real way. Instead of talking to them, we can show them. We’re glad to be able to do this and want people to come be a part of it.

“It’s an amazing thing to be a part of such a great gift we can give to the community.”

Anyone needing transportation to FBC-Hudson for the meal or wanting to have a meal delivered can contact George Kirby at 828-728-9325 or the church office at 828-728-4297. People seeking more details about the meal or with information about those in need of the meal can call Don Austin at 828-728-9383. Anyone with questions about the meal needing assistance Dec. 22, 23 or 24 can contact Mary Bean at 828-728-3335.