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Stanly County Community Christmas Dinner remains a holiday tradition

Pfeiffer University News Service

Stanly County is rich with traditions and community spirit, but no tradition is richer and more full of Christmas spirit than the annual Community Christmas Dinner. In its 17th year, the dinner will hosted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day by First Presbyterian Church.

This marks the second consecutive year that the church has hosted the event.

As a result of this event, thousands have received a free Christmas meal (with turkey, all the fixings and desserts) over the past 17 years. The meal is open to everyone, and special arrangements (see below) are made for those unable to travel to First Presbyterian.

“We are blessed to be in a generous community like Albemarle and Stanly County,” said the Rev. Elizabeth Ayscue, minister at First Presbyterian Church. “We look forward to building on the successful event last year and continuing a tradition that so wonderfully illustrates the caring spirit of Christmas.”

Outside of First Presbyterian, churches sponsoring the Community Christmas Dinner are:

* Annunciation Catholic,

* Central United Methodist,

* Christ Church Episcopal,

* First Baptist,

* First Lutheran and,

* First Street United Methodist.

These churches take turns hosting the Community Christmas Dinner, exchanging time as the host church every two years. Local businesses and individuals donate the food for the meal. Volunteers help throughout the day to cook, serve, and clean up. Many of them will be from committees established by First Presbyterian to run the event, in addition to many others from sponsoring churches.

By now, each church in Stanly County should have received a package of information explaining everything they need to know about the lunch. If anyone knows of a congregation that has not yet received the information package, contact First Presbyterian Church at 704 982 2722.

The package includes information about how to arrange for meals to be delivered. To simplify the logistics of an already busy day, each church in the community has been asked to deliver meals to people in their congregations that they identify as needing assistance.

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