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Pancakes and fellowship: It's a match made in heaven on Shrove Tuesday

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 9, 2011
— Last year, the pancake supper and the traveling homeless shelter coincided coincidentally.

This year, organizers made certain there was no coincidence.


On Tuesday night, Trinity Episcopal Church hosted its annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. The men from the GIFTS temporary homeless shelter, which is located at Trinity this week, joined church members for the meal.


It was a match made in heaven—or at least in a church hall.


"It's community service combined with fellowship," said Paul Benish, church member and vice president of the GIFTS board.


The homeless often face their predicament alone, and ordinary interaction at the meal helps bring them back into the community and helps reduce their role as outsiders.


"When this room was full of people, it was a challenge to tell who were the homeless people and who were not," Benish said.


The event benefited the men who used the shelter, the youth that did much of the serving and cleaning up and the community members who came to dinner, Benish said.


Anne Wanke, church Sunday school coordinator, said the church's supper and it's week with the traveling homeless shelter "just happened" to be in the same week last year.


"We've been having Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers here for about 40 years," said Wanke.


Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and in Anglican countries such as England, it is often referred to as "Pancake Day."


At Trinity, the youth help with the pancake supper. The money raised usually goes to the youth group and a community charity.


Last year, Wanke was struck by how well the two events went together. She was especially struck by the interaction between the young people and the people they were serving.


"It was wonderful to see them working," Wanke said. "It think it was really good for them, and made the guys feel more at home."



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