Janet Parkerson @janetparkerson

Groce United Methodist Church, social hall (Asbury Hall, lower level of church) - Asheville, NC
954 Tunnel Road

Thu, Apr 25, 2019 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

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PLAY FOR FOOD, SERVE OUR COMMUNITY, HAVE FUN! The East Asheville Welcome Table is supported by Groce United Methodist Church and seven other churches and hosted in the big social hall of Groce UMC, 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC. Every Thursday for 10 years, it has served fresh hot food to more than a hundred people every week in a beautiful social setting—round tables, flowers, smiling hosts and hostesses. Sideboards provide food and other items to take home. All of this is offered free, open to the public, no questions asked. All who serve there are volunteers, from Pastor Gerald Davis to the cooks, servers, dishwashers, and clean-up crew. Diners include the elderly, lonely, handicapped, and those on fixed incomes or in temporary financial distress, often with children. Others come for good food, a night off from cooking, warm fellowship, and good music. All come for sustenance, solace, and support. They find a warm welcome! Our musical circle sets up in a large corner of that room to provide unamplified old-time background music—both high-energy dance tunes and waltzes, airs, gospel, and hymns (though we do not sing in this setting). We use all kinds of instruments—fiddles, mandolins, dulcimers, banjos, guitars, piano, stand-up bass. We are in a relatively happy-go-lucky, even charmed place in life; we laugh a lot, and because we can, we help lift the burdens of others. Scattered clapping, warm smiles, the occasional handshake, a spontaneous dancer, a word of thanks—we can always feel their appreciation for our music! When we're finished playing, we partake of the feast ourselves! It's all great fun for us, but we have also come to realize how much WE MATTER. Attendance has significantly increased over the past 15 months since we began playing here. Music is the universal language that crosses all barriers and works its magic, providing a lubricant for conversation and social connection. At least for an hour or two, these people become family with all who serve them—a family they know they can return to every week. We play a part in cultivating that process, that bonding, that goodness. Our music at the Welcome Table is a non-denominational ministry, a service to the community we are part of. All musicians of any level of musicianship or religious orientation are welcome to join. This is our chance to connect with our neighbors through the walks and stations of life as we try to “BE the difference we want to see in the world.” We invite musicians to join the Welcome Table Old-Time Jammers every Thursday, 4:00-6:00 pm. FIDDLERS and other MELODY instruments are especially needed! If you refer to printed music (most of us do), please bring a music stand and let me know you’re coming; I’ll provide the rest. Peace and joy, Janet Parkerson, organizer fiddle4joy@gmail.com