Open Kitchen open to all

October 3, 2017

There is an old Peanuts cartoon where Linus, carrying his blanket, tells Snoopy, who is holding his food dish, to “go and be blessed.” That is all well and good, but Snoopy’s dish was still empty.

Many times, that is the way we tend to approach the needs of our world. We see the needs and we may pray for their needs to be met, but so often that is where it ends. One church in Brownfield is going just a little further.

Immanuel Baptist Church, a smaller church on the north side of town, near the hospital, has decided to reach out their hands to help others. The church, which averages around 60 – 80 in attendance, made the decision to open a soup kitchen of sorts.

On Tuesdays of each week, the church serves a bowl of soup, a sandwich and a glass of tea to anyone who comes in. Free of charge. Times are from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the entrance is on the east side of the building and is labeled.

The pastor of the church, Jon Patrick, stresses that there is no charge, there is no donation basket sitting out and the church has no agenda. “We just want you to know that anyone is welcome. We aren’t going to preach to you. There is no program. We just want to serve the community,” stated Patrick.

This project started about a year ago with conversations among the members about what the church could do to meet needs of people outside the walls of the church. As Patrick stated, the people of the church want to be a blessing to the community. Over time, the Open Kitchen came to be.

Right now, the church has 10 – 12 people helping to prepare the meals but there are many others making generous contributions to keep the project going.

Bush’s Chicken donates all the tea and the paper goods for Open Kitchen. United has donated gift cards to help pay for supplies and Burger King has come through with mustard and mayonnaise packets for the sandwiches.

So far, Immanuel has averaged feeding a dozen or so each week. They are hoping that number picks up as the weather cools down. “Soup is a good cold weather food. So we expect to see more people. But, this is not about numbers. This is not about feeding any specific group of people. This is open to anyone who wants to come in and enjoy a hot meal with us,” stated Patrick.

As stated, there is no preaching. There is no agenda of any kind, other than just reaching out and meeting a need for that moment and maybe sharing a conversation across the table.

Patrick stated, “It has been really neat to see the willingness of the church to serve others and their desire to reach out a hand with no expectation in return.”

Members have stepped up and worked hard to serve the needs of the community.

“We want to be a blessing. Our message is simple,” stated Patrick. “We are here for you.”

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Category: Updates