The Rest Store Seventh-day Adventist Church, located in South Manchester, launched its “Soup Kitchen” on October 19, 2017, as it celebrates 43 years of service to its community during the observance of the annual Week of Kindness.
The plans for the “Soup Kitchen” which is a vision of the Community Services Department, under the leadership of Merle Smith, started a few years ago, however, budgetary constraints delayed the project coming to fruition until now. The Kitchen is realized from proceeds of the sale of sweet potatoes, organized by the community services department, and contribution from several donors/benefactors.
Main Speaker for the occasion, Pastor Everett Smith, Community Services Director at Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CJC) commended the Church while reminding the audience that “community service is more than cooking food and giving out clothes.” He further noted that “Christianity is more than coming to Church, but people will know we are Christians by our love.”
In bringing greetings, the Member of Parliament of the South Manchester Constituency, Mr. Michael Stewart, commended the Church on the initiative and emphasized that nutrition is fundamental to the welfare of all citizens”.
“Your Church has not only paid keen attention to the spiritual needs of the congregation but has now embarked on a mission to cater to the physical needs of the wider community, as you reached out to the disposed and marginalized in our society,” he noted.
Stewart pledged $20,000.00 to the project before cutting the ribbon to signal the official start of serving meals.
Dexter Williams, First Elder of the Rest Store Church, declared the “Kitchen” opened, before the cutting of the ribbon. He expressed joy for “being a part of such important project, and even more so that we are carrying out the mandate of Jesus.”
The physical kitchen is not fully completed, but the members are determined to start the feeding project. For the first few months, meals will be served to approximately fifty (50) persons each month, and it is hoped that by early next year, it will move to twice per month, and eventually to once per week. The Church serves the communities of Rest Store, Plowden, Windhill, New Broughton, Lottery, Wilton and Rose Hill and while some person will be able to come to the Church to partake of the meals, the community services team will take meals to those who are not physically able to do so.
The “Soup Kitchen” forms part of a series of activities to mark the 43rd Anniversary Celebration of the Church. In September, a Health Fair was hosted in association with Andrews Memorial Hospital.
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