Churches come together with men’s barbecue at Bridge to Home

Joe Gamez of Valencia Hills Community Church, left, and John Nelson of NorthPark Community Church, fifth left, came together to provide Bridge to Home's shelter manager Nicole Feast-Williams, fifth right, with a men's barbecue on June 15, 2019. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Two Valencia churches joined together to provide a men’s barbecue for visitors and clients of Bridge to Home in Newhall on Saturday.

The men’s ministries with NorthPark Community Church and Valencia Hills Community Church joined together, along with Bridge to Home’s board members, to provide the supplies, decorations, plates, utensils and meals for several clients throughout the afternoon.

Shelter manager Nicole Feast-Williams reached out to NorthPark, her church, and five men as well as six members of Valencia Hills’ men’s ministry showed up to serve.

“I reached out to my church and said, ‘I’m having a mens barbecue, would you guys like to help and participate?’” said Feast-Williams. “Then we thought of ways to give back to the community, and they said, ‘Sure, we’ll just do everything, we’ll get a couple of churches together and we’ll do everything for you. We’ll bring the food, just tell us what we need to do.’ They jumped in without a problem.”

Clients were fed cheeseburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, sodas and peach cobbler made by Feast-Williams, who used her mother’s recipe. At each table, clients could pick up goodie bags with a gift card in each bag and empty journals to write in. Feast-Williams said she hears clients tell their stories to people, so the journals were meant to be a resource to write and tell their stories.

John Nelson, NorthPark men’s ministry leader, said the idea was to have a Father’s Day-esque barbecue.

“We really wanted to, especially with this event, just break down any – there’s no walls, but figurative walls to meet another group and work alongside,” Nelson said. “That’s one thing we care about as a men’s ministry is coming together as a community, pour into each other’s lives.”

The idea was to have those experiencing homelessness be seen man-to-man and father-to-father and be an advocate for each other, Nelson said.

“If we give you a little reprieve from the heat and the sun and serve a meal, which is barbecue – guys like barbecue – there you go,” he said. “That’s where we feel like we’re doing something. I hope that has value.”

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