Arlington Cooks Up a Ministry

May 01, 2008 | David Patrick

Their ministry in Arlington, Wash., began with a cookbook.

Dawn Hainey and Kathy Patrick wanted to feature vegetarian recipes made by cooks in the church as a resource for sharing member-to-member, with new members, and with community guests.

The cookbook gained popularity in the community and exposed a need for hands-on instruction on how to create good-tasting and healthy meals.

The Arlington Church stepped in to fill this need for healthy lifestyle training in the community, offering a once-a-month cooking school with guest speakers and diverse health topics, including weight-loss programs, and the role of water and exercise.

The class morphed into lifestyle classes called Vegetarian Support Groups. These monthly meetings provide information on vegetarian cooking (including demonstrations, recipes and safety guidelines), weight-loss studies, general health information, cookbook reviews, social support and the ethics of vegetarianism. In addition, the church offers a mini store where hard-to-find food items, cookbooks, health and spiritual growth literature is available.

"Arlington Church took a simple outreach tool," says Doug Sharp, district pastor, "and turned it into a unique ministry."