GREENVILLE — In bidding a not-so-fond farewell to 2020, with its mandatory closings, mandates and lockdowns, it is important to remember the spirit of generosity, concern and care expressed within our Darke County communities, and give thanks for those among us who offer friendship at times when we seem to need it the most.
For the past 39 years, members of the Radiant Lighthouse have greeted greet us warmly on Christmas morning, extending a hand of help and hope.
Over 100 volunteers braved freezing temperatures to make sure that the Community Christmas Dinner was enjoyed by all, in spite of COVID-19. Over 550 meals were served as cars came through from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with wrapped gifts being distributed by many helping hands. As each car drove up, volunteers personally welcomed them, loaded their meals and gifts into the vehicle, and blessed them with a Kroger gift card, wishing one and all a very Merry Christmas.
“There are a lot of moving parts with this event and that requires a lot of volunteers,” said Radiant Lighthouse Pastor, Wes Lynch. “Everything ran smoothly, and all the volunteers made the drive-thru experience a wonderful thing. The response was tremendous this year!”
People who came to the drive-thru this year thanked the volunteers and expressed their appreciation for keeping the tradition going, in spite of the restrictions on gatherings imposed by COVID-19.
“So many people told me their experience this year through the Community Christmas Dinner was just the hope they needed. With everything going on in our world right now, we all have experienced so much change in our everyday lives. However, God never changes, and we believe through a relationship with Him we can bring hope to our community and beyond, ” shared Pastor Lynch, adding, “It’s through that relationship that we are called to be out in our community, loving on people right where they, and giving them hope.”
As people continue to experience the COVID-19 restrictions in the New Year, many residents may feel the post-holiday “blues” more deeply. With the uncertainty of the political arena, and limited opportunities to gather together, feelings of loneliness and isolation can leave many feeling depressed and without hope. However, as the community copes with change, churches throughout Darke County have come together to offer understand and friendship.
The Radiant Lighthouse offers many groups and events to combat the “post-holiday blues, while keeping everyone safe. “Our New Year’s resolution is for all to experience a ‘Thrill of Hope’ this upcoming year, and a purpose found through a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Lynch, adding, “We have big things happening this year on Campus and within our community!”
To share your thoughts about the Community Christmas Dinner, write to: The Radiant Lighthouse, Attn. Pastor Wes Lynch, P.O. Box 815, Greenville, OH 45331. To learn more about what’s happening at Radiant Lighthouse, call 937-504-6721, stop by any Sunday at 10 a.m., or visit www.radiantchurchgreenvill.com
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.