METNWS-08-19-21 AT THE RIVER_PHOTO

At The River returned last month after a 16-month absence due to COVID-19 restrictions. The community meal provided many the chance to get back together to see old friends and create new ones. At The River will meet again at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, at the Metropolis Community Center, 900 W. 10th St.

It’s been two years since the members of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Metropolis shared its culinary talents with the community.

The dry spell will be up Monday when church members resume their August tradition of providing the meal for At The River Ministries.

The free community dinner is open to everyone of all ages. It will begin at 5 p.m. at the Metropolis Community Center, 900 W. 10th St.

The church has been involved with ATR since the ministry began in 2013.

“As a church, we always want to reach out to members in our community to be a support in any way,” said Caroline Korte, who helps organize the ATR meal for St. Rose. “It gives the church family an opportunity get together and work by fixing the meal and be servants by serving it to our brothers and sisters. We always have a great turnout and great support from the members of our church. I think it’s very well received.”

Anywhere from 10 to 25 members assist with the evening through different capacities — buying the food, pre-cooking, day-of cooking, set up, serving, cleaning up.

“People look forward to it every year,” Korte said. “We try to do a different type of meal every year. One of the favorites is when we bring our big grill out and grill burgers, brats, hot dogs and those types of things.”

Along with providing a meal, Korte noted members enjoy reaching out to those who attend the community dinner — “to be there in fellowship and give someone a hug or pat on the back and a warm, good meal and, if we have enough, another meal to take home,” she said.

St. Rose members picked the month of August to be involved with ATR to tie in a service activity with St. Rose of Lima’s Feast Day.

“It has a special meaning to our church,” Korte said. “We think it’s a great opportunity to be involved and get out in our community. We’re always very well supported with our annual fish fry — the community supports us and we try to go out and support the community anyway we can.”

The annual St. Rose fish fry is held in April. Due to COVID-19, the last one was in 2019, the same year the members last assisted ATR.

“At The River has also been the beneficiary of our annual fish fry,” Korte said. “Every couple of years, we rotate between the charitable organizations in Metropolis, and At The River is on that list. They are able to buy things they need to keep the ministry going.”

The community dinner hosted by ATR is on the fourth Monday of each month at 5 p.m. at the Metropolis Community Center. The meal will be followed by a time of worship and distribution of gifts.

Transportation can be provided by calling 638-7561 by 3 p.m. on Monday. Boarding the First Baptist Church van will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Guardian House, Haven House and Humma Apartments.

For information on volunteering with ATR or assisting financially, email atr62960@gmail.com.

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