Adventists from Eastern Idaho Serve Up Dinner
On Nov. 10, 2009, Seventh-day Adventists from the Idaho Falls and Pocatello (Idaho) churches teamed up to expand their reach into the Blackfoot community by providing and serving a meal at the Community Dinner Table. The CDT is held weekly from late fall to early spring and is put on cooperatively by different faith communities. There is not an Adventist church in Blackfoot. Members of the Idaho Falls and Pocatello churches hope to change that.
It began when Ronda Cheatham, church member who enjoyed volunteering at the CDT last year, asked if her church could be involved. The CDT organizers were happy to schedule members in last March — at the end of the season. Cheatham organized teams to shop, cook, serve and clean and members provided a hot meal for more than 250 guests. The evening was so successful, the organizer agreed to put members on the schedule twice for the 2009/10 winter season.
The meal was scheduled on Nov. 10, the third week of the CDT season. Attendance had been growing the previous two weeks but exploded on the night they served baked pasta and fixings. The line was out the door before they opened at 5 p.m. and stayed out the door until well past 5:30. The pace was swift in the dining room and frantic in the kitchen. By the time members stopped serving, 316 meals were served — a definite record. A reporter from the local newspaper was on hand and the Adventist church was featured prominently in the full-page article the next day.
Through this involvement, several guests have visited church on Sabbath morning and members have been invited to take part in the community's Living Nativity program over the holiday season.