Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ is scheduled to meet today to help with the Operation Sandwich project, an effort by the Urban Ministry Center to feed the hungry in greater Charlotte.
The sandwiches will feed more than 100 people at the Urban Ministry Center in uptown.
Operation Sandwich is a community project that requires at least 800 sandwiches daily for its noon lunch. The Urban Ministry Center serves the poor and homeless, whom it refers to as "neighbors."
The center provides meals, hot showers and clean laundry and offers addiction services, a nurse, employment counseling, AIDS testing and more.
Pilgrim Congregational, on Sharon Road in south Charlotte, began assisting with Operation Sandwich in August 2010. A group of eight to 10 members get together every third Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to form an assembly line to make sandwiches.
Robert Wylie, former head chef at Myers Park Country Club, is in charge of the project, which makes more than 100 sandwiches in about 30-40 minutes. Pilgrim Congregational Pastor Linn Finger said the sandwiches usually are ham or sliced turkey, with lettuce and cheese on whole wheat bread.
"I believe it is a very religious thing we do in carrying out Jesus' wish that the hungry should be fed," said Finger, who begins every project meeting with a prayer. The church welcomes visitors and encourages the community to help with Operation Sandwich and other missions.
Pilgrim Congregational UCC was founded in 1957 as the union of several different Christian traditions. The church affirms the idea that Christians do not always have to agree to live together.
"That they may all be one" is the motto of the United Church of Christ, according to its website.
Last Spring, the church went through a three-month study on human sexuality, which led to the congregational decision to become "open and affirming."
"The church accepts all of God's children to the table without regards to race, age, social standing or sexuality," said Finger.
The United Church of Christ believes "that we are one body in Christ, and as part of that body we are called to love another," according to the church's website.
Pilgrim Congregational has ongoing monthly mission projects and offers the house behind the church to Serenity House for weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
This month's mission project for Pilgrim Congregational is with Loaves & Fishes, a Charlotte-based program that accepts groceries for those in need. Loaves & Fishes provides a week's worth of groceries to individuals and families in a short-term crisis, according to the organization's website.
You can drop off groceries during March at Pilgrim Congregational UCC, 6151 Sharon Road, about a quarter-mile west of the Harris YMCA.