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Church Efforts on Saturday Bring Togetherness and Nourishment | Aiken Area News

Church Efforts on Saturday Bring Togetherness and Nourishment | Aiken Area News
Church Efforts on Saturday Bring Togetherness and Nourishment | Aiken Area News

Regarding the gatherings of Saint Thaddeus, he said, “They tell us what we are going to eat and then they say a prayer.”

The meetings in St. John’s typically include a spoken message that lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, he added.

Diner Cheyanne Thompson, who moved to Aiken from Greenville in June, made similar observations. “I actually go there because, first of all, I like to listen to the sermon. They always have a sermon at St. John’s and … I can get my nutrients, when I need them, and then … I mix it up a little bit,” she said.

Thompson also appreciates the opportunity to sit in an air-conditioned environment and enjoy a nice meal, because “the food there is really good,” she said, referring to both churches.

“The atmosphere there is always lively. There has never been a problem, since I’ve been there, with either of them. It’s always peace and positivity, always. That’s why I like going there.”

Marianne Swearingen, director of the St. Thaddeus program, confirmed that some clients are very familiar with her church’s Saturday service. “I’ve been there for about 25 years, and there are people who have been with me for 25 years.”

New faces among the guests are also part of the weekly reality and the normal reaction is one of gratitude and joy, she added.

Anthony Milledge, a longtime Aiken resident and a diner at both churches’ programs, said, “They’re honest people. You can eat as much as you want… After you eat, you get second helpings. You get takeout, so it’s… a blessing.”

He added: “I see it as a great thing. They are also doing a great job. They are keeping the peace.”