Local church to serve free dinner, movie

Published 10:07 am Monday, January 26, 2009

IRONTON — A local church is dedicated to making sure that family fun does not have to be forfeited because of the downward-spiraling economy.

As part of the “G-Rated Dinner and a Movie,” Central Christian Church of Ironton will offer a plateful of pasta and a showing of “Finding Nemo” at 5:30 p.m. Saturday free of charge. The event is open to families with children up to the fifth grade.

The event, which will also present ocean-themed desserts and punch, is part of the church’s initiative to offer the community a family-friendly experience. And as a result of the economic state, it is budget-friendly, as well.

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“When we worked on the budget for the youth ministry for 2009, we made sure we factored in these family events with the goal of making them free as often as possible,” said Kraig Bishop, Central Christian Church youth minister. “Families can pay to go see a movie or go out to dinner together, but rarely do they get a chance to do both for free.”

Although the fiscal aspect was a factor in planning the events, Bishop said family was a major focus, as well.

“A good portion of the time when families come to church they are quickly separated,” Bishop said. “We believe there also needs to be times when families come to church and spend that time together.”

Bishop, who is still new to the Ironton area, said these events are chances for local families to become familiar with the staff, volunteers and other people within the church.

“We want to meet families in the Ironton area that we otherwise might not have a chance to meet,” he said. “Sometimes it can be intimidating to come to a church for the first time on a Sunday morning, so we want to provide a different environment for a first –time visitor as well as regular attendees.”

The atmosphere intended for the event is informal and comfortable. Bishop said there is no dress code, but suggests coming dressed comfortably and ready to enjoy a family evening.

Volunteers and members of Central Christian Church’s youth group will act as servers to dinner guests. Bishop said gratuities are optional, but all funds donated will help youth members attend Christian conferences.

The dinner and movie are made free to the public by donations from families within the congregation, Bishop said. And it is only the first of a series of family events planned for the year. A puppet show, carnival and additional family nights are scheduled in the months to come.

Families who plan to attend the “G-Rated Dinner and a Movie” are asked to RSVP at Central Christian Church, 1541 S. Seventh St., or by telephone, (740) 532-2930.