No need to be alone on Christ­mas Day in Clarke’s Beach

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

If you or some­one you know is likely go­ing to be alone on Christ­mas Day in Clarke’s Beach or a nearby com­mu­nity, there’s an op­tion out there to make the day a lit­tle mer­rier.

Lo­cal Pen­te­costal pas­tors David and Kathy Crane held a free tur­key din­ner last Christ­mas, wel­com­ing dozens of peo­ple into the base­ment of their church. They’re set to do it again this hol­i­day sea­son.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple in their homes — two peo­ple, one per­son, a sin­gle-par­ent with chil­dren — and they’d just like to have some fel­low­ship, but it’s not there,” David told The Com­pass last week.

It wasn’t an en­tirely new ven­ture for the cou­ple. The Cranes or­ga­nized sim­i­lar din­ners else­where over the course of their many years with the Pen­te­costal As­sem­blies of New­found­land, but it was the first in Clarke’s Beach for the cou­ple since mov­ing there in July of 2015.

“We were in a small com­mu­nity, Sop’s Arm, and we found most of their chil­dren were ei­ther gone to Fort McMur­ray or Cal­gary, and (fam­i­lies) raised 12 or 13 kids, but they had no­body home,” said Kathy, who is orig­i­nally from Blake­town. “To us, it felt a bit aw­ful that they’ve got to spend Christ­mas by them­selves.”

A per­son’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion has no bear­ing on be­ing able to drop by for the event, nor re­li­gious be­liefs.

“Ob­vi­ously, be­ing the pas­tors, it’s a church func­tion, but it’s not a church time,” ex­plained David, who is from Up­per Is­land Cove. “It’s not a ser­vice, per se. It’s just a din­ner.”

Be­ing a first-time event for Clarke’s Beach in 2015, David and Kathy didn’t know what to ex­pect, but they were pleas­antly sur­prised by the turnout. Thirty-eight peo­ple en­joyed a hot tur­key meal that day.

“We took one to a house,” said David. “There was a lady that had surgery and she couldn’t get up, so we went there. She only re­quested one, but the sit­u­a­tion cer­tainly was eye open­ing. So there were oth­ers in that house, so we came back and got the din­ners and brought it to them. But we try to stay away from the callin de­liv­ery, be­cause we don’t have the per­son­nel.”

Even though it’s a busy time all-around for peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, there was solid vol­un­teer sup­port for last year’s din­ner. Fol­low­ing the Christ­mas Eve ser­vice, sev­eral peo­ple stuck around to help pre­pare veg­eta­bles.

“If you have fam­ily, we’re not ask­ing you to come away from your fam­ily,” David said. “Ba­si­cally, we’re just tak­ing what­ever per­son­nel who feel this is some­thing they would like to do. But no pres­sure.”

Kathy has al­ways en­joyed how peo­ple min­gle about dur­ing the event, re­gard­less of their back­ground.

“It wasn’t a sup­per for the needy, per se, and it wasn’t a sup­per for the elite dur­ing Christ­mas. It was more that you came, and the rich and the poor sat to­gether and had their Christ­mas din­ner with no dis­tinc­tion. That’s what I liked about it.”

The din­ner is set to start at noon Dec. 25. David and Kathy will be tak­ing names for the event un­til Dec. 20. Those in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing can call the Cranes at 786-6962 and leave a mes­sage or try David’ cell­phone at 680-3842.

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

Pas­tors Kathy and David Crane from the Clarke’s Beach Pen­te­costal Assem­bly are ready to feed dozens of fine folks on Christ­mas Day.

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