Mathyssen Sponsors Hospitality Meal at Trinity United Church
February 18th, 2010 - 2:52am
The first Sunday of every month folks gather in the basement hall at Trinity United Church for a “hospitality meal”. It is a chance for people in the neighbourhood to gather and share a meal in the spirit of fellowship. The meals were intended to help those in need, and they do. In any given month between 50-80 come out for the dinner, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.
“The meals help those in need certainly, but I think for many people the social interaction, the feeling of welcome and belonging is just as important” says Rev. Paul Browning, who leads the congregation at Trinity United. “Not everyone is in need financially; some of those who come are able to put meals on their own tables, but a table for one can be incredibly lonely. For others, they absolutely rely on our meals to help stretch their grocery budgets a little further. Whatever the need, everyone is welcome here”.
On Sunday February 7th, the church was able to provide the meal courtesy of MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe). Mathyssen, who has attended two previous meals at Trinity to visit with constituents, sponsored the February meal, paying for the food and supplies.
“Personally, I believe that an MP has a duty not only to work for the community, but to give back to the community. From my own experiences growing up, I know what it is like to struggle to make ends meet. As a political representative, I believe in the importance of addressing poverty issues, and I have always enjoyed the welcome I have received when I visit Trinity United. This was just an obvious way for me to do something locally to help make a difference,” says Mathyssen. “By doing this, I also hoped to raise awareness of this monthly meal, so that those who may not connected to community learn that these supports are out there”.
Mathyssen has also attended the community breakfasts hosted by the East London Anglican Ministries the third Tuesday of every month.
“Governments, both provincial and federal, are failing miserably when it comes to addressing poverty issues. Faith communities like Trinity United and ELAM are playing a vital role in providing supports to help fill the void. I am thankful for their efforts, but we cannot and should not let governments off the hook. Faith communities cannot provide these supports without the generosity of the people who donate to these meals and they cannot do it alone.”