PLAINFIELD, NJ - Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church will be the site of a gala event being held to support the reopening of the church's kitchen, which is used, in part, to aid the CAPC soup kitchen mission. The night will include live music, a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing.
According to Pastor Lynn Santulli, Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church has been one of the best-kept secrets in town, and people aren't aware of all of the things they have going on.
She said, "One of the things we had that started after Hurricane Sandy was our soup kitchen. And it was really just this kind of organic, gosh, power is out, I've got food in the fridge and you've got food in the freezer, so why don't we all just get together, and let's cook things and we'll feed the people who come. Well, what we discovered was that there was such a huge need to feed the hungry here in the community."
Santulli said it ignited this spark of outreach that went from just a few folks getting together to cook dinner for each other, to a mission of the church that not only incorporated people in the congregation, but people and organizations in the community, including schools, other churches and religious organizations, and sponsors like American Water and Costco. They would serve healthy, hearty weekly meals to up to 150 guests and give out daily lunch bags.
"What we realized is that we've got this really cool need that's being met by really compassionate people from everywhere," she said. "And this campus is seen as a safe place."
As the soup kitchen grew, members of the church realized the kitchen from which they were serving was desperately out of date. They put together a plan for a "minor renovation" that got a lot bigger, and Santulli said they are still reeling from the sticker shock.
The church receives space rental fees that help, for events that range from recitals, ESL and American citizenship classes, teacher retreats and corporate events, Alcoholics Anonymous®, and the arts, including the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra and Crescent Concerts.
Pastor Santulli said the aim of the gala is to reach out to the community, recognize donors and celebrate volunteers, remind people that CAPC is reopening the kitchen, and to raise funds.
The gala will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 716 Watchung Ave. in Plainfield, and tickets are $75. There will be dinner and dancing, entertainment by GPB, the Groomed by PAAAS band, a Tricky Tray, and more.
For more information and to purchase tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 756-2468.