The beauty of Christmas: Bethel members use talent to make annual event merry
By Melanie Tucker | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About 100 community members enjoyed a Christmas luncheon Sunday at Bethel Baptist Church in Alcoa that featured the talents of many.
Gaynell Ferguson, founder of this annual holiday luncheon for seniors, said this has been something her church has done for years.
Bethel invites its senior citizens to the sit-down meal following church services on Sunday but also opens the doors to any others in the community who want to share the food and fellowship. On the menu this time was Parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, red velvet cake and iced tea. Judy Watson and Mary Scott were in charge of the committee preparing the meal.About four years ago, another dimension was added to the festive event. Members of Bethel began volunteering to decorate the tables to reflect the spirit of the season.
On Sunday, there were 14 such tables that featured everything from poinsettias to seasonal greenery, snowmen, bells and decorative Christmas globes. Each of the decorators was simply told to make her table beautiful for the guests that day.
Ferguson said this isn’t a contest among the decorators, although it sometimes seems there are some who want to outdo what’s been done before.
That’s fine as long as everyone understands this is simply an event to honor and serve the seniors in the community, Ferguson said. Each of the volunteers is responsible for everything at the table, including tableware. Ferguson decorated one of the tables this year. When folks come in they choose whichever table they want.
It can be a lot of work, but having one person for each table does make it easier, Ferguson said. She said this is an event that will definitely continue at Bethel Baptist. As for the attendees, they were grateful for the hospitality and the opportunity to get together with friends. There were happy faces across the room.
This might even inspire others to plan a similar event, Ferguson said.
She grew up at Bethel Baptist and has been a part of this luncheon for years. It’s enjoyed by all who participate, this Bethel member said.