Earlier this month, the Retreat UMC near De Soto held it's first Community Breakfast of the year. The entire meal is prepared by members of the church and is served at no cost to those who come. The breakfasts were started several years ago as a means of bringing the local community together so that neighbors could build stronger relationships with one another.

Jeff Nelson from the Retreat UMC states that "Our church noticed that many of us really didn't know the people we called our neighbors. As people moved in and out of the area, the community as a whole seemed to fail to connect with new additions. So that's where the breakfasts came in. The breakfasts provided the church a means of inviting people to a free meal and fellowship so that we could all get to know one another. It has also opened up opportunities for us to share with others in our community the gospel! It's a win-win!"

In reality, it became a win-win-win! In addition to the building of community friendships and creating opportunities for the sharing of the Good News, people who attended the breakfasts often felt the desire to return the favor. Many asked to donate funds for the breakfast. Since this was not the church's original intent, the church quickly announced that 100% of any money donated would be sent directly to the local food pantry to help other neighbors in need. This announcement has only helped to make the breakfast more popular with the community.

In addition to bringing the community together, the Retreat UMC also recently purchased 10 turkeys and approximately 40 hams to be distributed through the local food pantry. The donation will be used to ensure that those on food assistance in the area will be able to have a fantastic Easter dinner with their families.

For more information on what the Retreat UMC and the other churches of the Driftless Regional Ministry are doing in their communities, be sure to check out their website at http://www.driftlessministry.org.