Friends, food, camaraderie and tunes
New Hope Wapwallopen Hosts Reunion and Open House at Stairville Methodist Church
WAPWALLOPEN – The food was plentiful, as was the camaraderie, tuned to the gentle strains of a live acoustic trio.
The pastor happened to be part of the gang.
Sunday gathered worshipers and friends in the hall of Stairville United Methodist Church for the first homecoming and open house hosted by New Hope Wapwallopen, which is made up of Faith, Slocum and Stairville Methodist Churches.
Officially known as the three-point charge in the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, the sites operate as three individual churches sharing a pastor and meeting for events and activities, according to the New Hope website.
Pastor Scott Miller, who has worked with New Hope for three years, said the churches set up an Outreach and Discipleship (MOD) team just over a year ago and discussed the idea. organize free community dinners, perhaps once a month. .
This is where the Van Gorden family came in, and in particular their son Josh.
“He’s in college and he cooks at the golf course (Blue Ridge Trail). And his family is like, ‘oh, he would cook a meal,'” Miller said.
Indeed, Van Gorden was happy to cook a meal.
“My parents asked me if I wanted to help, and I said yes,” said Van Gorden, who is majoring in accounting at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where he will be a junior this fall. “I do big tournaments like this at the golf course, so yeah, why not. I came with the menu and everything.
Van Gorden said preparing the Chicken Marsala dinner, which also included baked ziti and salads, took about seven hours. Their dinner was accompanied by a range of desserts provided by other church members.
Being able to host the event at his home church meant a lot to Van Gorden, who grew up on the road in Laurel Lakes.
“Anything I can do to help our community,” he said.
This spirit clearly runs in the family.
“Our MOD team was trying to find ways to meet the needs of the community. We wanted to create a place where people could congregate and kids could come and read books,” she said. “We’re going to do kids hours, and old people can come in and sit down and relax and socialize.”
Like Josh, Janet noted that church has long been a part of her family’s life.
“I’ve been coming here since I was little,” she says.
Back in the dining room, the Chester Avenue Acoustic Trio pumped out sweet melodies as guests chatted over dinner. The group consists of husband and wife Anthony and Angie Zammit, as well as Miller.
“We sent a letter to people we hadn’t seen in a while and said, ‘Hey, you should come back to this homecoming,'” Miller said. “And so it’s just something that kept growing, and then somebody said, ‘Hey, you should bring your band over,’ and so that’s what it is,” he said. he declared with a smile.
The event proved to be an effective way to bring together the members of New Hope Wapwallopen, which has between 60 and 75 people who regularly attend each church, “but we wanted to see if we could get them all in one place at the same time, “said Miller.
Sunday’s event drew members from all three churches, as well as members of the community.
Darlene Wolfe, from Drums, was present with her father, George Berger, and her friend Dawn Klick. Wolfe said she frequently comes to Stairville for her spiritual yoga program.
“It’s a wonderful event,” added Klick.
New Hope Wapwallopen and its constituent churches offer a variety of spiritual, social and charitable activities. You can find out more about them at www.newhopewapwallopen.org or on Facebook @newhopewapwallopen.
Chester Avenue is also present on Facebook, @ChesterAvenueMusic.