Community Matters: Church Dinners and Apple Pie

Community Matters: Church Dinners and Apple Pie

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

One of the best things about our Indiana towns are the church dinners!

These fundraisers rock for more than a few reasons.

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

First, everyone knows everyone so it’s just another chance to create community, to get the community together for a little chit-chat, to break up the long winter, or to finally celebrate the arrival of Spring. Sometimes, it’s also to raise funds for a specific cause or event, like a family in crisis.

Secondly, church ladies (and men) really know how to cook (yes, I’m totally talking about you, Alice!). Sometimes church dinners are partly catered, like for the main course, or they are completely made by church members (can you say “chicken and noodles?”).

Either way,  the men and women of the church usually take responsibility for the sides–and dessert!

Building Community

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

As you can  see from the photo above, it’s good stuff! Of course, I was so busy getting Kid #1’s plate together I kind of forgot about my own. I think, however, that you can get the general idea of all the goodness!

The church pictured here is St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rensselaer, Indiana. It’s tiny! There’s a neat (and very old) graveyard on a large sloping hill (not anywhere near as large a hill as at Ball Hill Cemetery in Cutler, Indiana) but definitely possesses that same peacefulness and quiet. It’s also in the middle of nowhere and basically surrounded by cornfields.

But every year they have a fantastic chicken dinner. Our wonderful neighbor (who also makes the best zucchini bread EVER– hi, Donna!) surprised us with freebie tickets! Last year we had the great good luck to sit near a man who loves to bake (and share) pies.

Apparently he’s known is his small community for his pie-making skills and frequently enters  his pies in multiple fairs in the summer–and wins. We managed to snag a piece of his homemade Apple Pie before it was gone. Apple isn’t anywhere near my favorite (unless it’s made by you, Cathy) but this was so good I forgot to take a photo!

Indiana Fun

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

Church Chicken Dinners and Apple Pie

No matter what your religion, I strongly urge you to branch out a little and check out the next church dinner in your area. Whether you attend the church or not, it is a lot of fun and completely pressure-free, at least in our experience so far.

Just think: a chance to meet new people, eat some yummy food, and donate a few bucks for a good local cause (in the case of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rensselaer, Indiana, it was for needed renovation if I remember right).

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

Just don’t forget to tell ’em that  little Indiana sent you!

St. John’s Lutheran Church
2723 N 700 W
Rensselaer, Indiana 47978
219.866.8683

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About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."

3 Comments

  1. Jessica Nunemaker April 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Yes it does! 🙂

  2. Ryan Musch March 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Great job…community matters!

  3. Marie March 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    We love church suppers — in fact our church has been having soup suppers the last couple weeks and they have been great both in terms of food and for the feeling of community. Tonight there was a wonderful Beef Barley and a delicious Chicken and Rice — perfect for a chilly evening.

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