MERCURY SERIES - Making A Difference
St John’s Lutheran Church in Stewart Street, Wollongong, concluded Mental Health Month this week by hosting a Longest Lutheran Lunch to raise funds to support local people.
It was the second time the congregation had invited the community to help it share the lunch on the lawn with a very long table.
But this year the church decided to support the Light and Hope Mental Health Clubhouse which uses a hall on its grounds.
Local co-ordinator Michael Dobie said the church community had been inspired by the Highlights for Hope campaign run during October.
The clubhouse supports the recovery of people with mental illness, helping them build satisfying and meaningful lives.
‘‘We have just been really impressed with the way they go about what they do and the way the people who come along to the clubhouse support each other,’’ Mr Dobie said.
‘‘You can see the growth in their confidence the longer they have been here. We just think it is a really great initiative and we wanted to support them. At the time we made the decision we were not even consciously aware it was Mental Health Month. Our objective will be to now build on this for next time.’’
The Illawarra Lutheran Parish was one of 140 church communities around the world to participate in the Aussie-invented Longest Lutheran Lunch.
Guests enjoy a long lunch in three ways. They sit at a long continuous table; they take their time over the meal; and it starts in New Zealand and goes across Australia and around the world to the United States and Canada.
‘‘The Longest Lutheran Lunch is a grassroots event that brings people together with food and hospitality,’’ Mr Dobie said.
‘‘The idea is to have fellowship and get together with people in the community.
More than 8500 took part in the global event this year and consumed more than four tonnes of food.