The Coshocton County Beacon February 27, 2019 - Page 13

The Reverend Karen E. Crawford COSHOCTON - Th e Reverend Karen E. Crawford grew up in a small farming community in Damascus, Maryland, that is today a bedroom community for the Washington, D.C. met- ro area. She attended a Lu- theran church as a child, and as a student at Towson State University, she wor- shipped with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in edu- Crawford cation from Towson State and served as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in public and Christian schools in Pennsylvania. During her summers, she worked as a freelance writer for the “York Dispatch”. She was off ered a full-time job as staff religion writer for the “York Daily Record/Sunday News” in 2000. In 2005, she married the Reverend Dr. Jim Crawford, a Presbyterian pastor. Together they discerned her call to attend seminary and to work summers as a chaplain at Codorus State Park in Hanover, PA. After graduat- ing from Princeton Th eological Seminary in 2010, she accepted a call as a solo pastor in rural, southwestern Minnesota, followed by a call to become pastor and head of staff at Merritt Island Presbyterian Church, FL. She and Jim, in their blended family, have fi ve grown children, two grandchildren, a cat named Melvyn and a dog named Mabel. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing piano, singing, crocheting shawls and blankets, knitting hats, writing, reading non-fi ction, taking walks, eating out, baking cookies, going to museums and mov- ies, and watching British mysteries. Lenten Lunches celebrate 50 years in Coshocton County By Beth Scott COSHOCTON – For the past 50 years, the Coshocton County Lenten Lunches have been an event where people of all backgrounds and from all parts of the county can gather in unity to acknowledge and celebrate the season of Lent. Held each Wednesday of Lent, except the week before Easter, the lunches give people of all denominations a chance to come together and socialize while enjoying a meal, singing praises to God, and listening to an inspir- ing message from a local pastor. Th e Lenten Lunches began in 1969 at the First Baptist Church in Coshocton, with the Reverend Lee Morris, pas- tor of the church at that time, serving as the fi rst speaker. “It’s been pretty successful since it’s going on 50 years now,” said Morris, who is now retired. “I think the object or the goal was to give people from diff erent churches a place to get to know one another because what happened was people started seeing each other year after year and it helped create a Christian community.” Th e idea was brought from Pennsylvania to Coshocton County by the Reverend Robert Rezash, then pastor at St. John’s United Christ of Christ. Th e fi rst few series of Lenten Lunch were organized by a committee of the Coshocton County Council of Church- es. After a few years, the three county ministerial associa- tions took over the planning of the lunches. “I remember the year that the priest from Sacred Heart spoke at a Lenten Lunch,” said Sally Kinkade, historian. “Th at was something back then for Catholics and Protes- tants to worship together.” From the very beginning, the lunches have off ered two soup choices, crackers, celery, cheese, pies, and a bev- erage. A suggested donation has covered expenses over the years. Following the meal, a Lenten hymn is sung, and special music is shared by someone from the guest pastor’s congregation, followed by the message for the day. Currently, any proceeds after expenses go to Church Women United for their “clothe a child” project. “We tried to involve new ministers,” said Kinkade. “It became a tradition that new ministers in the county were invited to speak. It was a chance for people to meet them.” As the luncheons became more popular, they moved to FEBRUARY 27, 2019 Th e Presbyterian Church in 1986 to provide more tables and more parking places. It was designed to be during the lunch hour so those who were working might also be able to attend. “Some come at 11:30 a.m. so they can choose the pie they want,” said Kinkade. “It’s a time of ecumenical fellowship. It’s just a wonderful feeling. People come early and meet with one another.” Th ree or more churches are responsible each week to help set up, prepare and serve the meal, and tear down. “We have a lot more participants, especially with the meals,” said Pastor Dick Hoover, who is in charge of the Lenten Lunches this year. “More churches are going to be part of the series this year.” Th e Lenten Lunches have always had a theme. Th is year’s theme will be “Lord of the Waters” and each speak- er will speak on that theme. “Th e last couple of years, we had lay people speak, and now we’ve returned to asking pastors speak,” said Kinkade. Over the decades, the Lenten Lunches have become a tradition and people in the community look forward to it each year. “I remember one year when Rudy Wolfe brought a tape recorder to the Lenten Lunches because his wife, Alma, couldn’t come every week,” said Kinkade. “Just the fact that he brought a tape recorder every week so his wife could hear the message was special.” Th is year, Hoover said they are hoping to have 50th anniversary decorations on the tables to help celebrate the special occasion. “We want to try to retell the story and rejuvenate it because we have diff erent leadership,” said Hoover. “It’s something that still seems to be a very viable opportunity for people.” Kinkade said that the Lenten Lunches have become so successful because of the continued support of the Coshocton County community. “It’s a chance to walk through Lent together as a com- munity and prepare our hearts for the Easter season,” she said. Th e Lenten Lunches will be held at Th e Presbyterian Church from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. on March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3, 10. 50th ANNIVERSARY Coshocton County Lenten Lunches 2019 Theme: “Lord of the Waters” March 6 “Living Water” – John 4:7-15 Th e Reverend Karen Crawford, Th e Presbyterian Church Food: Coshocton Christian Tabernacle, New Life Ministries, Plainfi eld United Methodist Church, Isleta United Methodist Church, Fresno Presbyterian Church Presenters: Sharon Sutton will introduce Rev. Craw- ford. Erin Jobes will provide special music and the pianist will be Alice Hoover March 13 “Stormy Water” – Matthew 14:22-23 Pastor Rod Uhlig, Food: Coshocton Nazarene Church Food: Grace United Methodist Church, Central Christian Church, Burt Avenue Wesleyan Church March 20 “Still Water” – Psalm 23 Th e Reverend Dr. Donald E. Lain, Church of the Naz- arene Foundation Food: Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Canal Lewis- ville United Methodist, Fresno United Methodist Church, Conesville United Methodist Church March 27 “Mighty Water” – Amos 5:18-24 Th e Reverend Larry Bobbitt, Retired Disciples of Christ minister [Attends West Laf. UMC with wife] Food: Roscoe United Methodist Church, Keene Unit- ed Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Coshoc- ton, Solid Rock Foursquare Church April 3 “Healing Water” – II Kings 5:1-14 Th e Reverend Christy Suff ecool, Grace United Meth- odist Church Food: Sacred Heart Church, West Lafayette United Methodist, Th e Salvation Army April 10 “Sorrowful Water” – John 20:11-18 Th e Reverend Dairel Kaiser, Keene United Methodist Church Food: Th e Presbyterian Church, Prairie Chapel Unit- ed Methodist, Warsaw United Methodist Church THE BEACON 13