communityMeal02Immanuel volunteer Tim Schmitt, a May 2015 Daily Herald Cook of the Week, doesn’t shy away from large crowds, good food, and giving people options. Tim created a brand new menu for the next Community Meal, keeping crowds, and vegetarians in mind. The entire community is invited to a no-cost Community meal on Thursday, April 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church & School. Tim and a host of additional volunteers are serving up two menu options – beef and rotini casserole and lentil rice veggie bake, a meatless option. Side dishes, beverages, and dessert round out the menu. People will also be invited to participate in an optional spring planting project.

Immanuel has hosted the Community Meal two other times, most recently in January. Palatine and neighboring suburbs were invited to The Community Meal at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palatine on Thursday, January 12. Nearly 200 people were fed that evening. 56 joyful volunteers, many part of Immanuel’s church and school staff, came to help the meal run smoothly and visit with guests. The committee would like to thank all of the volunteers who supported this opportunity to reach out and show hospitality to the local community members.

communityMeal01The efforts of the workers, faith in the vision, and the Lord’s provision, indeed blessed The Community Meal with an incredible night. It was heartwarming to see first-hand how people’s needs for community interaction, beyond that of enjoying a warm meal were met. The mood and the interaction of the people was very encouraging. Everyone seemed to enjoy free and open conversation with people who had just met that evening. The dining hall was buzzing with constant conversation.

All of this would have not been possible if it wasn’t for the incredible vision and faithfulness of Mary Sandner and Sandy Haase, from The Community Meal program, of Barrington, Illinois. Their team support was vital to our volunteers and leaders. Immanuel hopes to model what these ladies provide for the Barrington community, but inviting other churches to join in hosting these meals in throughout the year.

The meal served consisted of sloppy joes, grilled cheese sandwiches, salad, potato chips, coffee, water, lemonade, and desserts. Many of the desserts were generously donated by members of the 50’s Plus Senior’s group that meets at Immanuel every Friday morning, and their donations were much appreciated. The K-8 students at Immanuel Lutheran School helped prepare for the meal using their artistic skills to color Epiphany placemats for all attending.

Following the meal, many of the guests and volunteers participated in Immanuel’s Operation Christmas Child service project, hosted by our American Heritage Girls and Trail Life. About 50 simple fishing kits were assembled to be shared with children in impoverished countries. These kits will be given to help the children provide meals for their families.

Immanuel wishes to thank Thrivent Financial for the generous monetary donation given to purchase food for The Community Meal, and NPN 360 Northern Print Network, for the donation of the signs and hand sanitizer bottles given to those attending. The giveaways were fun and a big hit! We have discovered this meal provides many fun ways for people to volunteer for a unique and memorable experience for all. Humble hearts of volunteer serving and some “down home simple hospitality” allowed Immanuel the opportunity to provide friendly fellowship for all. Please come to the next Community Meal on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Immanuel Lutheran Church & School is located at 200 North Plum Grove Road (at Wood Street) in downtown Palatine, just two blocks east of the Palatine Metra Train Station. For more information, please call the church office at 847-359-1549.