Once a month, treats the public to a free home-cooked meal, friendly conversation and, upon request, prayer or counseling.
The church at 3663 Mayfield Road, formerly known as Euclid Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), began hosting its “Meet the Neighbors” community meal in August 2008.
“As the meal has grown, the meal has become a community event,” said the Rev. Kristine Eggert, Disciples Christian pastor since February 2007. “Very few people come and eat and leave. Most persons stay, and the conversations are lively. Tables are a mixture of church members and the community.”
Volunteers prepare and serve fare such as pot roast and vegetables, ham and macaroni and cheese and lasagna. Vegetarian options also are available. Second helpings and take-home plates are offered if any food is left after everyone has been served.
“My role has been to circulate throughout the room during the dinner to get to know people, to answer any questions and to be available for prayer, if requested,” Eggert said. “It is definitely one of my favorite nights of the month. I have met so many wonderful people, and I know that our church is meeting a need.”
The next meal – chicken-and-rice casserole — will be served Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m.
From 6-8 p.m., Eggert will lead a special session on “Learning About Disciples” to give diners, other visitors and new church members an opportunity to learn more about the denomination, the local church’s various ministries and more.
Three days later – 6-9 p.m. Sunday, May 1 – the church will host “,” a fundraiser to benefit the 30-year-old .
HEFC, a ministry supported by several area churches and synagogues, is housed at Disciples Christian and serves residents of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid and Lyndhurst.
Ray's Fabulous Out of Tuners and Friends will provide the music at the event. Price of admission is a nonperishable food item, but additional contributions will be accepted. Proceeds from the sale of burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, etc., also will go to HEFC.
“We are not a large congregation,” Eggert said, “but when a call goes out for food and those to serve it, we always come through.”
The Disciples Christian congregation also provides lunch one day each winter for 700-800 homeless individuals as part of InterAct Cleveland’s Homeless Stand Down program.
“I believe we are most like Jesus when we are inviting all people to the table,” Eggert said. “We are fed by the meat and potatoes on a Thursday evening, and we are fed by an open invitation to the bread and wine served during communion Sunday mornings — never alone but always in community.”