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Devon United Church
Turkey Supper Discussion, March 3, 2019

To be able to effectively plan for Turkey Supper 2019 and future suppers, it is crucial that we are all on the same page regarding exactly what we hope for and expect from the Turkey Supper.

Why do we have a Turkey Supper? Could we do anything differently?

We will have an opportunity for discussion during the service on March 3, 2019, and then a congregational meeting is called for March 17, 2019 to vote on whether to go ahead with Turkey Supper 2019.

One of the major ways we connect, and re-connect, with our community has been getting together at turkey suppers. The Turkey Supper has been the mainstay of Devon United Church for many, many years.

It has been a significant fundraiser for various major projects: the original church building (and later additions), the manse, the new church building. With the completion of our new building, the Turkey Supper’s fundraising component has become less of a focus, shifting more to community outreach. It may be time to re-evaluate the purpose of the Turkey Supper.

For many years, the Turkey Supper was profitable for a number of reasons including the large pool of younger volunteers and the donation of most of the food including cooked turkeys. And it was fun! Along with the prospect of bringing in some much needed money, everyone looked forward to doing something together for the wider Devon community, all of which made it fun.

In more recent years, however, new food service regulations have meant we are no longer allowed to prepare the food ourselves, necessitating the hiring of a caterer. As well, a decreasing and aging volunteer base, whose energies are already invested in the Thrift Shop, is no longer able organize and set up such a large function.

Another concern is holding the supper in early December is a challenge in terms of so many other things going on, competing for people’s time and funds. This both decreases attendance and people’s willingness to spend money on items for sale at the supper.

It seems like many people are exhausted and frustrated with the Turkey Supper. A once joyful event may have become too heavy a burden. Do we continue as is, or do we try to
tweek and adapt the way we do the Turkey Supper, or do we decide not to have a Turkey Supper. Even though we no longer raise significant funds from the Turkey Supper, that may no longer be its main purpose. It is important that everyone have a chance to express their thoughts about this important part of the life of our congregation.