Pratt Faith Partnership plans community luncheons during month of May

Billie Blair
Pratt Tribune
Community lunches organized by the Pratt Faith Partnership will be held on Wednesdays in May, beginning May 5, at the First United Methodist Church at the corner of First and Main in Pratt.

A new twist to an annual tradition that came to a halt last year because of COVID-19, is back in Pratt.  The Pratt Faith Partnership (PFP), formerly the Ministerial Alliance, has planned community luncheons during the month of May to compensate for Lenten Luncheons that were cancelled in 2020 and before Easter in 2021. 

The Christian Church is in the season of Eastertide now and according to the Rev. Karen Lemon, All Saints Episcopal Church, “Easter is a more joyful time and people are hungry for fellowship and ready to get back to normal.” 

Lemon said she had been thinking of suggesting something like these Eastertide lunches, though it was the Rev. Scott Powell, Abundant Harvest Church of the Nazarene, who brought the idea to the attention of PFP.

The lunches will be held at First United Methodist Church, First and Main streets, on the four Wednesdays in May (5, 12, 19 and 26) at 11:45 a.m. Fewer churches are involved this year since there are only four days involved, instead of the usual six Wednesdays during Lent. Churches or organizations providing the meals, fellowship time and an uplifting program include All Saints Episcopal, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hope Center, Free Methodist, Youth Core Ministry and First UMC.

Social distancing will be addressed by having fewer people seated at the tables. There is an awareness that many in attendance will be older or retired people from the community and many of them have been fully vaccinated. There is a hope that there will be at least fifty people in attendance for each Wednesday meal. Tables will be set for seventy to eighty. During the Lenten luncheons the attendance averages one hundred.

This event is not being offered virtually. 

“It’s hard to share a meal virtually,” Lemon said.

The Rev. Mike McGovney, First Christian Church, reiterated Lemon’s belief that this is a good way to get people back together. He also mentioned that the lunches will benefit the Hope Center through the free will donations offered by the public for the meals. During the Lenten luncheons in the past, approximately two thousand dollars has usually been raised for the center.

Each church or ministry is free plan the short program. These are not like Sunday morning worship services. In the past, during Lent, programs included presentations like a short Lenten message, dramatic reading, or balloons.

Lemon said this time together is important for the community. 

“This is one of the few opportunities people have to come together with people of other churches to mingle and find out we’re not so different from one another. It is also a chance for different churches and organizations to work together for the sake of the Hope Center.” Lemon also says that for her, personally, these lunches are a good time for her to hear different ministers speak, see different styles of sharing, and, maybe, take something fresh back to the church he serves.

The meals are offered for anyone in the Pratt area. No reservation is required.

The PFP is also sponsoring the National Day of Prayer on May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Jack Ewing – Centennial Park.