Monday nights together – Oak Street’s in-person dinners return

March 2023 Posted in Community, Food & Drink
Jay Horenstein and Rachel Anne Rapoza volunteering at Monday Meals.   Melissa Wagoner

Jay Horenstein and Rachel Anne Rapoza volunteering at Monday Meals. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

There is just no telling who will be at Oak Street Church’s Monday Meals from one week to the next.

“There are people who come because they need food. There are people who come because they’re lonely. And there are people who come because they want to meet people,” Pastor John Friedrick said.

It’s not the reason they are there that matters, it’s simply that they came.

“What Monday Meal is trying to accomplish is a more resilient community… no agenda,” Friedrick said. While the meal is held inside a church, everyone is welcome – regardless of religion – to enjoy a scratch-made meal in community.

“We don’t pray before the meal or preach. It’s not a gimmick,” he said. 

“We’re a community that values hospitality and participation and trying not to be too hierarchical.”

In fact, it was with these goals in mind that Monday Meals initially began in 2008. Serving an average of 120 guests each week, the meals quickly became the place to meet for many families and groups of friends.

Then in early 2020, with the COVID  pandemic in full-swing, the Monday Meal like all indoor dining took a hit.

“We’ve never stopped the meal but we’ve just been doing take out,” Friedrick said.

It’s been three long years, but finally the in-person version of the Monday Meal is back – much to Friedrick, and the entire volunteer staff’s delight.

“We’ve had almost too much volunteer help,” Friedrick admitted. “People are just glad to be back inside.

“I would like to get the word out [to volunteers], that if it’s a slow night just be ready to just sit down and enjoy,” Friedrick said. “Because there are so many ways to participate.”

Friedrick is hopeful that now that the doors are open and the food is cooking, the community will return.

“People are always welcome,” Friedrick added. “Come have a dinner and see what it’s like.”

Monday Meal

Oak Street Church
502 Oak St., Silverton

Mondays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Free to all, in-person or to-go

To volunteer email [email protected].

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