Downtown Worcester’s Wesley United Methodist Church

photo by Ron O’Clair

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The community meal at Wesley United

By Ron O’Clair

Recently, I attended the once monthly community dinner hosted by the Wesley United Methodist Church at 114 Main St., Worcester. The church prepares a community feast on the 4th Saturday of each month. This one was held on March 28, so it had a St. Patrick’s Day theme, with the servers wearing their best Kelley Green outfits, funky hats, blinking Shamrocks and grins from ear to ear as they cheerfully served up delicious corned beef and cabbage, with mashed potatoes, baby carrots, a fresh garden salad, with dressing, and fresh rolls or bread, with real butter patties. You could have juice or water, and I suspect there was coffee served earlier. I got there quite late, and was the last one to be served. I only found out about it when one of the tenants in the rooming house that I manage here at the 700 block of Main Street had come back from having had his supper there, and told me about it.

I, being part Irish, LOVE corned beef and cabbage! So I stopped what I was doing on my Campaign for Worcester City Councilor At-Large and made my way down there. When I walked in, they were just starting to clean up, and there were maybe a half dozen other guests nearly finished with their meals. I introduced myself, they cheerfully fixed me a plate, and I dug in.

Of course, any opportunity to spread the word of InCity Times and gain new ICT readers is a welcome opportunity for a writer like myself. I can get more opinions on my writing style/content and work to improve it.

Plus,  being on the Campaign Trail, any opportunity to gather the needed signatures on my nomination papers is welcome as well. I like to multitask anyway.

I find stories in the most unusual places, and I like the kind of stories that give recognition to those who sacrifice themselves for the less fortunate, asking for nothing in return. It shows this writer that there is hope for the world yet.

Worcester is awash with people such as these congregants of the Wesley United Methodist Church – people who do for others without expecting anything in return. The church also runs an eyeglass clinic there and sees to the needs of the hearing impaired. On the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month they have hearing tests available for the needy – free of charge. Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., they have eye exams with eyeglasses costing just $15 for single lens and $25 for bifocals.

The congregants who served up the delicious Irish themed Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner tell me they have a wonderful Pastor from Zimbabwe who has one of those very long names that Zimbabwe people have, and no one had a business card with the name, but they invited me to come and hear for myself the way he preaches the gospel out of the King James New International Version of the Holy Bible. I will take them up on it, because as part of my Campaign Strategy that was on my agenda anyway. I have been investigating the many different religions that make up our freedom to worship as we see fit for 28 years, going to many different Parishes, Synagogs, Mosques and Churches of many different faiths to see what makes them all claim to be the one and only true path to enlightenment.

I believe the biggest stumbling block to world peace is religious fanaticism being used to justify immoral and evil behaviors and intentions.

Let’s face it, the situation in Ireland, with the infighting between the Catholics and the Protestants, just does not hold up for either side based upon my own knowledge of both religions.
One insists that theirs is the one and only path to the knowledge of Christ, and the other insists that theirs is the one and only path through the Virgin Mary.  Instead of accepting that the other has the right to believe as they wish, they try to force their own beliefs onto someone else. The world would be a better place if only we as a race could embrace the American ideal of freedom of religion, and practice it. That would include those who choose to believe in no God.

I am looking forward to attending a sermon by the Pastor from Zimbabwe – his congregants speak so highly of him!

The Wesley United Methodist Church building was completed in 1927 after more three years of construction. It is a real testament to the quality of workmanship of a bygone era, and the devotion to the Lord of the people that had it built for the future generations of Worcester residents to enjoy. It has long been noted as one of the most picturesque buildings in the City of Worcester, being located two doors south of the original Court House building that was just sold for $1.2 million to Brady & Sullivan pending approval from the Worcester City Council to renovate the old Court House complex into apartments. Brady Sullivan has yet to sign on, as city leaders wish, to hiring Worcester residents for the construction jobs at the site and working with Worcester County construction companies with carpenter apprentice programs. Apprenticeships are a great way to educate our workforce and prepare man and women for life-sustaining jobs.

Brady & Sullivan are the ones doing the Junction Mill Shops Project on Beacon Street here in Worcester. I think it’s a welcome addition – to re-purpose our vacant buildings will bring in more people to live here in Worcester.

The meal at the church was scrumptious, and I look forward to the next one, if I can find the time to attend!

Happy Easter! Happy Passover!