No need to be alone on Christmas Day in Clarke’s Beach
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.
Pastors Kathy and David Crane from the Clarke’s Beach Pentecostal Assembly are ready to feed dozens of fine folks on Christmas Day.