Church holds Christmas dinner for hundreds in Bristol, VA

BRISTOL, V.A. (WJHL)- A Christmas tradition continues as hundreds gathered at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Bristol, Virginia, for the 37th Annual Christmas Dinner.

Diane Starns said this is her and her husband’s fifth year at the church for Christmas.

“We don’t have parents,” Starns said. “So we enjoy coming here and these people here are so friendly to you and they make you feel like family.”

It’s a dinner that organizer Sharon Kyser said gets bigger every year, feeding over 200 people.

“Regardless if you live in the neighborhood, you don’t have to be a member of the church, we don’t ask,” Kyser said. “If you need a dinner, if you want a dinner, if you just want a fellowship with us for Christmas that’s the reason we’re here.”

Kyser said it provides many people with a warm meal who would otherwise go with out on Christmas and giving volunteers from the church a special opportunity.

“We can reach out to people around us who may not have as much as we have or just don’t have family or someone to spend Christmas day with,” Kyser said.

The volunteers make a Christmas meal with all the trimmings from turkey, mashed potatoes to desert.

Starns said her favorite part is the special gift they allow you to take home.

“You get to take an ornament with you and I’ve collected them for the last 5 years,” Starns said. “I’ve been putting them on my tree, it’s just such a blessing.”

The Emmanuel Episcopal Church held the dinner on Monday from 4-6 p.m.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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