Oak Glen URC hosts fifth annual Christmas Cookie Walk
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 1, 2018) – One thousand homemade cookies baked by about 40 volunteers and served for three hours on a December Saturday morning. That’s Oak Glen United Reformed Church’s recipe for building community. Saturday was their fifth annual Christmas Cookie Walk, a tradition that has proved to be a festive way for church members to meet new people.
Phaedra Bullock and her son Jeremiah were among the estimated 50 guests. They live in the neighborhood, and last year they saw signs announcing the event, so they ventured into the church’s Fellowship Hall to see what it was all about. The cookies were so delicious and the people were so friendly that they decided to come again this year.
Each guest is invited to hand select up to two dozen homemade treats, including Outrageous Chocolate, Mocha Truffles, and Decadent Brownies, as well as holiday-themed cookies like Eggnog Spritz and Christmas Pinwheels. The choices are arranged on tables and clearly labeled. At the end of the trail of goodies, volunteers place a plastic lid on each brimming cookie tray and direct people to the coffee area, where they can sit and socialize before bringing their cookies home.
Laura Bruinsma is part of the Heart to Heart Bible study group who originally launched the Christmas Cookie Walk idea. She assures people there is no ulterior motive behind the treats; it is simply a way to meet people in the neighborhoods around the church building. “This opens our eyes to the community around us,” she said. And fellow Bible study member Leann Lange confirmed, “It gives us a chance to meet people we wouldn’t meet otherwise.” Some people have attended the Christmas Cookie Walk year after year and become familiar faces to the Bible study members who serve each year. In addition, each year has seen new attenders responding to social media ads, postcard invitations, or signage in the surrounding area.
Not only do community members come to the church location to partake of the cookies, but also the leftover cookies are packaged up so the Bible study members can deliver them to throughout their own neighborhoods.
To continue the Christmas spirit, Oak Glen will also host a Christmas Carol Sing at the church building on Sunday, December 9, at 6:45pm. The singing will be followed by, of course, cookies.
Oak Glen United Reformed Church is located at 2244 Indiana Avenue.