United Methodist brings community together

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picstitchBy Derek Kim
Williamston Post staff writer

WILLIAMSTON—Sue Kaiser never asked for money to fund the Open Table Meal at Williamston United Methodist Church. The congregation has always provided the money necessary to feed the 65-80 people who show up on Wednesday nights.

The church hosts the meal every Wednesday from 5-6:30 p.m. Ingham County requires food served must be served on-site.

Kaiser and four others arrive as early as 2 p.m. to prepare food. Dessert is the only item that can be donated. Kaiser, ministry co-chair, said the crowd ranges from children who are there for choir practice to financially struggling families.

“God has blessed our ministry because we don’t have to figure out where the money is coming from,” Kaiser said with a smile.

The event will be entering its third year in April. Kaiser said she was initially unsure how long she wanted to lead the ministry. However, she said that the joy of seeing people being fed has kept her going.

“We get more out of it than they do,” Kaiser said.

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Sarah Riggs, a regular attendee, said the meal originated from a dinner that was served to choir members. A member noticed a rising need at the community food bank and presented the idea to the congregation.

“We realized we were making a meal anyways, so we decided, ‘why not open it up to the community?’” Riggs said.

The Rev. Julie Greyerbiehl said the Open Table Meal is part of the church’s call to be Christ’s hands and feet to the world. Greyerbiehl is entering her second year as the reverend of the church. William Chu, her husband, said the meal has blessed their family and congregation as much as the attendees.

“A lot of folks end up going to church here but that is not the primary mission,” Chu said.

Chu said many attendees are members of other congregations and that the Open Table Meal has brought the community together. Chu is a part of the Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University, the United Methodist Church’s presence at secular institutions.

When asked how the meal has benefited him personally, Chu responded,
“One good thing has led to another.”

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