Massena Lenten luncheons return to St. John's Episcopal Church beginning Feb. 29
Friday, February 24, 2012 - 6:09 am

MASSENA – Lenten luncheons are returning to St. John’s Episcopal Church. This long-time tradition has been a favorite of Massena residents for over 40 years.

An ecumenical worship service is held at noon on five Wednesdays during Lent, starting Feb. 29, and continuing through March 28, at the church, 139 Main St.

It is sponsored by the Greater Massena Ministerial Association.

Each week’s service is conducted by a different member of the local clergy. Each service consists of hymns, scripture readings, and a brief message.

Lunch in the church social hall follows each service, starting at approximately 12:30. It has traditionally been provided by the ladies of St. John’s.

Recently, in the spirit of ecumenism, the ladies of several other local churches also participate in the preparation and serving of the meals. The price of each lunch is $5.

Proceeds will be divided between the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, the Neighborhood Center Food Pantry, and the monthly Free Community Supper at the First Methodist Church.

The menu is also a long-time tradition, and consists of main dish, salad, bread, coffee or tea, and everyone’s favorite, homemade pie.

Specific menus are as follows:

• February 28 – Spanish rice and tossed salad, prepared by St. John’s Episcopal Church.

• March 7 -- Chicken & broccoli, with tossed salad, prepared by the Catholic Churches.

• March 14 -- Goulash with molded Jell-o salad, prepared the Congregational Church

• March 21 – Chicken & vegetables with coleslaw, prepared by Grace Methodist Church

• March 28 – Macaroni and Cheese with broccoli salad (without nuts), prepared by the First Methodist Church

The Lenten luncheon tradition was established in the early 1960s to allow workers at downtown businesses to attend a brief church service and enjoy a delicious lunch, all in a one-hour lunch break.

Many of these businesspersons are now retirees, but they still enjoy the opportunity to attend an ecumenical service, followed by lunch with their friends.