Thanksgiving meals

The Koenig family prepares Thanksgiving meals at Alpine Chapel last year. The church will again be providing meals this year, but on Wednesday instead of Thanksgiving Day. (Courtesy photo)

Alpine Chapel will again be serving Thanksgiving meals this year, though they will be available for pickup the day before the holiday on Wednesday.

Like last year, those interested in receiving a meal can pick them up at the church on Aspen Street.

“We would love to serve the community a seated dinner, but at least for this year we will once again do our very best of keeping our community safe and serve a to go meal,” said Lisa Evans, the congregation member who oversees and organizes the Thanksgiving meals each year.

The meal includes smoke turkey, baked ham, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, gourmet salad, a dinner roll and a choice of desserts.

“We will also offer a small number of vegan options. We will also have an amazing coffee bar set up to serve those picking up meals,” Evans added. “While chefs Larry and Pancho will be doing the majority of the cooking, it is the Alpine Chapel family who packs up, distributes and graciously provides the funding for this delicious meal.”

She also thanked the Elks Lodge “for generously allowing us to use their kitchen facilities.”

To reserve a meal call or text 225-413-2076 or email admin@thealpinechapel.com. All meals will be ready to be picked up at Alpine Chapel at 122 South Aspen St. between 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday. More information can be found on the chapel’s website at thealpinechapel.com.

Pastor Michael Craft explained anyone can sign up for a meal, no matter their religious affiliation or believes. The church wants to serve as many people as possible, and he hopes offering the meals the day before Thanksgiving will help reach people who may work in the area, but live elsewhere. He added the church will most likely prepare up to 300 meals this year.

“We put everything we have into it. Our heart is just to show people in the community, and not just our church, but we care for each other. Sometimes holidays can be the roughest for those who may have recently loss someone, or are going through a hard time alone. It’s nice to do something outside of ourselves that tries to bless other people,” Craft said.

Past meals have been served in the Telluride Middle/High School cafeteria, which is always nice as everyone is able to sit with each other and connect, but no matter where the meals are served, people are always grateful, he added.

“It’s always positive. Even people who, I think, would never darken the doors of a church, they’ll come in and they appreciate just kindness and the effort,” Craft said.

The effort includes about 30 volunteers each year, which Evans coordinates. Craft thanked the volunteers and Evans for their selflessness and dedication to the Thanksgiving event each year.

“We’re just blown away by the people who would take time out of their schedule, especially during the holidays. A lot of folks have families visit. It’s kind of cool we’ll see them come and bring their extended family that live out of state and they’ll all be here serving. It’s so cool. We even have some families in our church that made it their tradition to come and serve and cook, and then go home and have their own meal. We’re just so appreciative. It absolutely could not happen without the volunteers and, of course, the money they all designate to go toward the food that we purchase,” he said. “And Lisa really pours herself into this. She’s such a blessing. It’s her act of love. She has a great way of recruiting people around here to do the same thing.”

The church currently holds one Sunday service through the offseason. Starting in January, the Saturday night service and Wednesday night bible study will return.

All services, including past messages, are available on the church’s website and streamed on Facebook Live, particularly for those who may not feel comfortable gathering in groups still.

Craft said there are more people attending services than at the beginning of the pandemic, including this offseason.

“Even right now in the offseason I’m just blown away by the Sunday services. We’re easily 50 percent full, which I didn’t think it would be like that," he said.

The church will be holding candlelit Christmas Eve services at 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 24. Reservations will be required.

“People will need to go to the website and reserve a seat. We’ve had up to 600 people come, and we don’t know how many we’ll have this year,” Craft said.