An interview with Ray, on the Free Tuesday lunch program, March 29, 2016


Free soup, Ray serving“Cochrane’s St. Andrew’s United Church is bringing the community together every Tuesday.”

Courtesy of DiscoverAirdrie
Published: Tuesday, 29 March 2016 10:12
Written by Marni Fedeyko

The local parish began a pilot project last spring and due to the warm, welcoming response began a weekly community lunch program in September.

Reverend Ray Goodship says depending on the weather they will have anywhere from 30-60 people attend the weekly lunches which consists of soup, a bun, and a cookie. Rev. Goodship says the community lunches are open to everyone.

“I think there is a great longing for people to be connected, people are isolated. Poverty is one way people do become isolated, but there is also age, and just other circumstance. So we bring all kinds of people together not only from the church but just generally from the community.”

Goodship encourages everyone who attends to interact with others and get to know their neighbours.

“The way the tables are set up if there is a free chair people are welcome to sit wherever and join a table they don’t know and engage.”

It takes 4-5 volunteers weekly to host the community lunches, Goodship comments that generally the parishioners volunteer but outside groups are welcome to help as well. The parish has tossed around the idea of changing the menu in June, but Goodship comments the soup days are easy and manageable.

“It makes it quite affordable, and it’s wholesome, and it’s doable, and people quite enjoy a homemade soup. We have four recipes we cycle through but we are looking at other needs and other ways that we can use the space and our energies to help in the summer months as well.”

The lunches are not religious based, it is Goodship’s way of connecting the community which continues to grow.

“Our culture is getting more and more transient anyways, people are moving around. How do you connect? How do you find a place where you feel welcome, safe, respected, and known? So we feel there is a real longing for that, that community connection. We are a small church, we can’t change the world but we can do this, we can be a place where people can come and feel welcome.”

The community lunches run every Tuesday from noon until one and are no cost to attend. If you would like to contact Goodship about the community lunch program you can do so at 403-932-2585.