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Sweet treats offer fellowship

Newhall Church of the Nazarene hosted annual pie night attracted over 150 community members

Posted: November 30, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 30, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Attendees included church members, visiting churches, friends, family members and people from the community. People sample old favorites and new creations

 

Sweet scents of warms apple, cherry and pumpkin pie filled the gym at Newhall Church of the Nazarene Tuesday night. Rows upon rows of decadent pies awaited attendees at the annual church Pie Night.

A 15-year tradition, grown from a small gathering of only 20 people. Pie Night has become a favorite at the church and around the community. Who doesn’t love an extra piece of pie?

Lois Ward, longtime church member, wanted to have a get together with friends at church before the Thanksgiving holiday. She figured, many people plan large dinners with family, having another dinner might be too much work or hassle right before the holiday.

Instead, she came up with an idea for a simple gathering with no hassle and full of fellowship. Her idea of a night dedicated only to pie and fellowship was well received.

It began small 15 years ago. Tuesday, nearly 150 people attended from around the community. More than 75 pies were served and countless smiles and laughs shared.

“This is a fantastic thing,” said Carolyn Weekly, another longtime member of the church. “At first I wasn’t sure about it, now I look forward to it every year. We all do.”

There is no charge for attendance. Each family is asked to bring one pie to be shared. Many bring three or four. Some none at all. There are no set rules, just a lot of pie and fellowship.

Leslie Garmin, the church’s Music Director, says the event offers people an opportunity to relax and have fun.

“It’s just a fun evening, no pressure, no charge, no strings attached,” she said. “Visitors often think they have to dress up or behave a certain way in church. We are just normal, fun, comfortable people and pie night shows visitors that.”

Some attendees buy pies from local markets and restaurants, others take the time to lovingly handcraft two or three pies.

Flavors ranged from the traditional apple, pumpkin and pecan; to unique flavors, like pomegranate, banana merengue and pumpkin cheesecake streusel.

The church turned an impromptu gathering into a long standing tradition.

The event is always scheduled for the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. Volunteers show up early to help decorate and beautify the church for the upcoming holidays. After, attendees from all walks-of-life arrive, appetites ready.

Many are congregation members, some attend other churches but love the tradition. Sometimes family members visiting from out of town join in and sometimes complete strangers will find their way to the church for a piece of pie, a warm cup of coffee and a kind welcome.

“This is an outreach to other people,” said Garmin. “It is a nonthreatening way to get acquainted with church.”

Attendees are encouraged to eat more than one piece. Over the last 15 years, Newhall Church of the Nazarene has never run out of pies.

“This touches the whole community,” said Kathy Cannon, family life pastor. “We would love to see it grow even bigger, and if we ever need to, we can always buy more pies. There’s a Vons just around the corner.”

Newhall Church of the Nazarene is located at 23857 The Old Road, Newhall. For more information visit www.newnaz.org.

 

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