In the parking lot of the Bethlehem Temple of Kenosha, 2528 Roosevelt Road, the Rev. Galen Nelson was busy grilling under a perfectly clear Saturday sky, making enough ribs, brats and hotdogs for over 130 people during the church’s Community Day event.
Guests could enjoy free food in the shade, with games and a bouncy castle available for families and kids. Tables of free clothing were also available for those in need, ranging from baby clothes to women’s heels.
Nelson, the chair of the church’s outreach and evangelism missionary team, said that the event was just another part of their efforts to reach out and support the community, such as the gas giveaway they had hosted last month.
“People are in need, they need food, they need clothes,” Nelson said. “You have to take care of the natural needs.”
Nelson said it was important for churches to help people with their practical problems, not just spiritual ones.
“Preaching is for the inside of a church; people have problems outside the walls,” Nelson said. “Even here, we can get so sidetracked by the preaching part, but when people walk out the door, they still have problems.”
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Those “outside” problems have only gotten worse as gas and grocery prices have risen. Nelson said they want to help in the community in any way possible, whether as a meeting place for community events, a vaccination center or, as it was Saturday, a place to get a meal and enjoy others’ company.
“Our goal is to be engaged with the community,” Nelson said. “Whatever it can be, we’re not just here to entertain ourselves.”
The church takes a “no-questions asked” approach to its aid, Nelson said. Regardless of people’s motives, he promised to help anyone who asked.
“We even feed the mailman when he comes,” Nelson said, laughing.
More information on the church’s future events can be found on the Bethlehem Temple of Kenosha Facebook page.
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