Christmas Dinner carryout at Geneseo First Lutheran

by Claudia Loucks correspondent
Volunteers spent several hours in the kitchen at First Lutheran Church in Geneseo on Christmas Day, providing carryout meals to 125 people.

Although it was achieved in a somewhat different manner, the tradition of serving dinner on Christmas Day continued in 2020 at First Lutheran Church in Geneseo.

The church has been serving Christmas Day dinner for the last 14 years and church volunteers found a means to continue that tradition in the midst of the current pandemic – by offering the meals on a carry-out and delivery basis.

Jim and Janet Larson, with the help of other church members, were instrumental in planning the first Christmas Day dinner with Mike and Sheryle Vergane.

Janet Larson, Jennifer Johnson and Marlee Steiner are in charge of this year’s dinner, and although Larson was involved in all of the preparation prior to Christmas Day, she became ill on Christmas morning and was not able to participate in the actual “carry-out” and delivery.

Her husband Jim and other family members did their part in her absence in helping prepare the food for carry-out and delivering this year’s meals.

The menu included turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls and cookies.

Larson expressed appreciation to Dan Rettig of Danny Boy’s Pizza in Geneseo, who prepared and donated the gravy for the 125 meals.

Meals were pre-ordered by Dec. 23 and for those who ordered meals, but could not pick them up, the volunteers provided delivery service in the Geneseo and Atkinson area.

Larson said the Community Christmas Dinner “is something that is needed in our community and the surrounding area because we are not aware of any other meals offered on Christmas Day. That day can be the loneliest day of the year. We want those people who would otherwise be alone to be a part of our church family on Christmas Day.”

“This has been a hard year for our community,” she said. “We pray that this meal will be enjoyed by our friends and neighbors who need to feel the love and hope that God provides.”