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Dinner at the Brick Taste This

If you want to know the reason why the food here tastes so good, just know it’s because they make it with love!”

Dinner at the Brick

Light and warmth emanate from the basement, up the stairs, and out to the streets above. Delicious odors, warm laughter, and friendly chatter greet the guests as they arrive. Whatever is going on appears to be something marvelous, and it is.

This inviting scenario takes place weekly at 4:30 pm in the basement of the Fellowship Hall of Westminster Presbyterian Church/ WPC, in Anacortes, Washington.

The original construction of the church in 1910, like many of the churches of its day, was done in brick. Over the years, many fondly referred to the church as The Brick. The name, Dinner at the Brick, was chosen for the wonderful community event, which evolved some eighty-seven years later.

The initial idea for Dinner at the Brick was the brainchild of Maxine Lang. She wanted to offer an inclusive outreach to the community of Anacortes, providing a venue where folks could enjoy both a hot meal and a time of fellowship. Maxine and her daughter, Cyndi Luza, prepared the first dinner in 1997 with the money provided by Janette Jones.

Initially the meals were offered only once a month. Eventually, Janette Jones became the coordinator and increased the frequency of the outreach to weekly dinners.

Don and Marilyn Hickok followed Janette as coordinators from 2004-2006, with Marilyn gifting the guests at The Brick with her handmade knit mittens and hats.

Several others came after the Hickoks, such as Lenore Robb, Jeff and Valerie Holtgeerts and the current coordinators, Dave and Jolynn Lucas.

The coordinators play an important role in scheduling the various groups and in working with the monitors who assist the volunteer host-groups who prepare and serve the meals each week.

The host groups include: four groups from WPC itself, ten other local church groups, and five additional groups–the Scouts, Rotary, PEO, and individual families.

The Community at large is, and always has been, invited to partake in the family style dining where guests are able to visit with folks they know and meet new people. All ages are represented from middle age to twenty-something, teens, and children. Host groups sit with the guests and enjoy a warm tasty meal. All enjoy the uplifting and nurturing atmosphere.

Rhena, a young lady in her twenties, says of her experience at The Brick, “ You make friends and after awhile we become like family. It’s a place where people can be themselves. It’s like everyone comes together in a multi-cultural way.”
Frank and Jeff, two gentlemen sitting at an adjoining table, agreed that coming to The Brick was an important part of their week. And Terrence, another fellow at their table shared an insight, “If you want to know the reason why the food here tastes so good, just know it’s because they make it with love!”

And last, but certainly not the least, was Vickie, a vivacious middle-aged woman who was eager to share the significance of The Brick in her life since the early years of its operation. “Over the years we have watched the young children who have come to serve with their folks grow into wonderful adults. We have made many friends. Friends who helped us move at one point in our lives. Pastor Stephanie Hankey herself has a heart of gold. You begin to realize the unique capabilities that various people who attend the dinners have. They have the ability to see the kind of help people need, as well as, actually giving that help. And help is hope!”

Friendship, family, love, help, and hope–Dinner at the Brick is community at its BEST!

by Mary Ann Berkbigler

Check our more stories by Stories from the Front Porch

Created By
Karla Locke
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