Church Meeting Point to start lunchtime meals

The Church Meeting Point “Aktiv im Norden”, also known the “Kirchenladen”, which is run by the protestant Church parish of the “Heilig-Geist Kirche”, first opened its doors 7 years ago with the aim to bring the people at the northern end of the town together and promote communication amongst them.

Each week from Monday to Friday the rooms are open between 2pm and 7pm, offering a free lending library, coffee and cakes, with other activities taking place on some evenings and at the weekend.

But although Pastor Cornelia Synek is happy with this “beginning” as she sees it, with the number of people at this end of the town increasing it is important that the meeting point does more.

One the one hand there are a lot of families with children in the area, but there are also a lot of people living in the Rosengärtchen area who moved in when it was built at the beginning of the 1970s.  But there is something they all need: a midday meal, a need that has now brought a group of organisations together.

The preparations started about a year ago, as Pastor Martin Barschke explained on Tuesday.  There was a lot to organise, and the different institutions needed to “get to know eachother”.  Funding had to be arranged.  But now that all of that has been done the project will start on 12th September, when the meeting point will start offering a warm midday meal suitable for all generations.

Outside the Church Meeting Point: Pastor Cornelia Synek (Heilig-Geist-Kirche), Olaf Wieand (Head of the Evangelische Kinder- und Familienzentrum im Rosengärtchen), Rita Eumes (Responsible for the Kirchenladen), Sandra Lebherz-Zelic (Assistant head of the Evangelische Kinder- und Familienzentrum im Rosengärtchen), Carmen Goldbach (Haus am Urselbach)

Outside the Church Meeting Point: Pastor Cornelia Synek (Heilig-Geist-Kirche, left), Olaf Wieand (Head of the Evangelische Kinder- und Familienzentrum im Rosengärtchen), Rita Eumes (Responsible for the Kirchenladen), Sandra Lebherz-Zelic (Assistant head of the Evangelische Kinder- und Familienzentrum im Rosengärtchen), Carmen Goldbach (Haus am Urselbach, right)

They are hoping this will appear to a variety of groups such as mothers with babies who are stay at home looking after them the rest of the day; children who have no afternoon-care to go to, but whose parents are not home in time for lunch; older people who cannot leave their flats because there is no lift – all of these should have the opportunity to have each lunch together for a reasonable price.

Taking part in the project are the care home “Haus am Urselbach”, the Kindergarten and family centre “Im Rosengärtchen”, the  church charity “Innere Mission” in Frankfurt, the Oberursel branch of “Caritas”, and the pizza restaurant “Pomodori”.

The pizza restaurant, which is located directly next to the church meeting point, will be providing the Italian food each Tuesday, with traditional German food being provided each Friday by the kitchens at “Haus am Urselbach”.  On both days, the lunch is set to be served between 12 noon an 1pm, costs €5 for adults and €2.50 for children up to 12 years old, with the price including a glass of water.  On Fridays a soup and dessert are also included.  However to take advantage of this offer, people need to sign up in advance by calling 06171 21201 or writing an e-mail to ev.kifaz.rosengaertchen.oberursel@ekhn-net.de.  Some people have already signed up for September.

Anyone who is not able to get their on their own will be picked up by Caritas at 11:30am to be taken to the meeting point and brought home again afterwards.

Carmen Goldbach, in charge of the care home “Haus am Urselbach”, knows from her work there that many older people live at home in exactly this situation.  “I find it great that we are going into the community with this project” she said.  Someone else who is looking forward to being part of the project is Mohamed El-Adak from the Pizzeria Pomodori.  And rather than just take his food at face value, a tasting took place.  “The children from the Kindergarten tested our food” he explained proudly.

If he project is successful, then a third day may be added as well, with the food being prepared by the participants themselves.  Olaf Weiand from the Kindergarten and Family Centre “Im Rosengärtchen” commented that this would give neighbours a chance to talk to each other for longer, for example whilst peeling and cutting up vegetables.

And Cornelia Synek can see other advantages to the project in bringing the generations together.  For example, children could do their homework there after school and pensioners could provide assistance if they need any help with it.  Her aim is to bring people together, rather than having them “just living next to each other.”

This article appeared in German on 4th September, 2014 in the Oberurseler Woche.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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