Community lunch brings many groups to the table


JUST SERVING a meal can make a difference in people's lives," says Taneytown resident Gail Wilson. Ms. Wilson coordinates a community lunch, the Carpenter's Table, every Wednesday at noon at Messiah United Methodist Church in Taneytown.

The meal is free to anyone, and for some it's the main meal of the week.

The Carpenter's Table is an outreach program sponsored and administered by the Caring and Sharing Ministries of Taneytown, an ecumenical consortium of church leaders.

Ms. Wilson got involved in the project when she was tapped as a volunteer after Carpenter's Table founder Anna Rollins moved on.

Ms. Wilson has a vision for the project that sustains her through the weekly administrative tasks.

"My whole vision is that all classes, those who work and those who don't, come together for a meal," she says. "People are usually equal over the meal table."

When you eat a meal at the Carpenter's Table, you sit with older people who want fellowship and company for lunch, recently unemployed families, women with young children, people struggling to become independent from welfare, and, during the summer, teen-agers.

About 20 people come to the lunch during cold weather months; up to 50 come in better weather.

Each Caring and Sharing Ministries church has a budget for the Carpenter's Table, and people take turns preparing the meal.

Tony Lobue, owner of Carlos Pizza in Taneytown, regularly sends pizzas; Jubilee Foods contributes an allowance for paper supplies; and last fall, members of Grace United Methodist Church saved all their "turkey stamps" from Jubilee Foods and gave them to the Carpenter's Table.

In addition to getting a good meal they can count on every week, the recipients have been discovering a desire to help.

"I see that people are actually participating," Ms. Wilson said. "They're bringing ice and drinks, and trying to contribute."

Ms. Wilson urges as many people as possible to take part in the lunch, especially by showing up at noon and eating a meal with those you might not meet otherwise.

"Our greatest need is for bodies and for people to come and share with us," she says. "I think it's really important to sit down with less fortunate people. Until we can reach out to others, we are always going to be at each other's throats, unwilling to share, unwilling to reach out."

If your schedule does not allow a trip to Taneytown for lunch Wednesdays, and you would like to help the Carpenter's Table in other ways, contact your pastor or call 751-1237.

Uniontown gets new barber

Uniontown resident and Longtime Westminster barber Mel Fritz is opening a barbershop at 3359 Uniontown Road. Call 848-0232 for an appointment.

Winter exercise

Union Bridge Recreation Council is sponsoring an aerobics class and a volleyball clinic this winter.

Call Sandy Grable at 775-2434 for aerobics class particulars.

HTC Jan Mickey is in charge of the volleyball clinic.

Information: 775-7788.

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