Community Vegan Meal
Our monthly Community Vegan Meal (usually the third Thursday of most months, August through April) is held in Mackey Hall at Westminster Church House (353 E. Pine St.). This meal is a great opportunity for Westminster members, students, and area community members to enjoy delicious food while building relationships through fellowship and conversation. This is a truly intergenerational event and is a favorite tradition and gathering for many, especially College of Wooster students.
Mark these dates on your calendar and join us at 6pm in Mackey Hall:
Beginning in September 2018, the format for the Community Vegan Meal will change slightly. Our (re)newed "mission" or focus is to have an intentional space where students, church and community members can gather in a spirit of mindfulness to fellowship, have conversation, and build relationships across lines of difference. We're also switching up how we enjoy the meal together: Whereas we used to have a buffet-style service line, we're working to foster a more conversational and intentional community atmosphere. A main dish and a few sides will be served family dinner-style to each table. We still welcome the cooking/baking talents of church and community members, but ask that folks bring a dessert rather than a main/side dish. We will offer a blessing prior to the meal just as before, but will invite tables to engage with suggested topics/conversation prompts and questions to help guide conversations in whatever ways are most meaningful to each person. This event is open to all, whether you are of a particular faith background or no background. Our goal is to encourage meaningful dialogue between diverse, intergenerational groups and to live into the values of inclusion and radical hospitality as we share a completely vegan meal together!
Westminster’s Community Vegan Meal (formerly the Vegan Potluck) started as a support group for those choosing a vegan diet. Members who were not vegan, but interested in healthy, sustainable, and mindful eating also started attending. We've grown to now having a monthly vegan meal for students, church and community members. In past years, we offered vegan cooking classes and a short program regarding food justice issues and healthy eating.
Our mission began as a way to provide support for one another as we explored the many options and challenges in following a plant-based diet. We shared a desire to eat healthily, and our concerns about animal treatment, agricultural practices, and food processing as we "strive for equitable sharing and sustainability of God’s world with all peoples."
As this gathering has grown in size, it has evolved in a number of ways. We used to bring small pots of potluck-style dishes, and now we employ a local vegan chef who makes delicious, large-batch recipes using locally sourced ingredients that can be shared by all.
We look forward to writing the next chapter of this meal together with community members, students, and all who are looking for a meaningful space to eat and fellowship!
Vegan Potluck in the News
The following write-up about Westminster's Vegan Potluck appeared in the Spring, 2013 issue of the Wooster magazine, and was then reprinted in Never Too Late to Go Vegan by Adams, Carol J., Breitman, Patti, Messina MPH RD, Virginia. Workman Publishing Company, Inc. January 2014.
The Vegan Potluck in Wooster, Ohio
The Vegan Potluck began about three years ago as a kind of support group for a few members of Westminster Presbyterian Church (including Dave Noble, College of Wooster class of 1963 and heart specialist and college trustee Ken Shafer, College of Wooster class of 1975) who wanted to share recipes and dining experiences.
When it started growing the group moved it out of their homes and into the church (the college’s congregation in residence) and threw the doors wide open to students.
And then it really exploded. It is not unusual for 50 students to attend the monthly event, which often includes a cooking lesson from staff members at the local food cooperative and a short lecture on sustainability issues, delivered by both students and community members.
Over bowls of lentil soup, pita and hummus, stuffed cabbage, and rich brownies, sixty-year-olds and twenty-year-olds exchange cooking recipe ideas. Most of the students who attend aren’t vegan but say they come to the potluck as a way to connect with the community. "And," adds Alissa Weinmanji (class of ’15), "to get away from Lowry [the dining hall] for an evening." [Reprinted from the Wooster magazine.]