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Friday, July 19, 2024 at 4:53 PM

Interfaith Luncheon held in Fallon

Interfaith Luncheon held in Fallon
by Rachel Dahl --  Several members of local churches gathered recently in Fallon to have lunch together and fellowship. Led by Pastor Dawn Blundell of the Epworth United Methodist Church who hosted the luncheon at the Wolf Center, and Loni Faught of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the event was attended by over 20 people of various faiths. Modeled after the prayer breakfast held in Reno every spring by the Nevada Interfaith Association, this is the second time the group has met in hopes of bringing together the diverse religious groups and work toward a stronger community. Attendees had the opportunity to speak about specific programs they run or in which they are involved, hoping to share resources and increase involvement. Garrett Kalt, working for the Nevada Census, gave a short presentation on the importance of the census to local, rural communities. He said that churches are a life blood in communities, and the attendees at the luncheon connect with people throughout the community regularly and are trusted messengers for the importance of the census. “It’s on all of us to make sure that everyone in our community is counted and we are taken care of and get our fair share of federal funding,” he said. Kalt explained the census process, saying that by March 12th residents will receive a card in the mail with instructions for how they can complete the census either online, on the phone, or through the mail. April 1st is the official census day and by May 1st, if community members have not completed the census either online, by phone, or by mail, a census worker will come to residences to assist people with completing the census. “The goal,” said Kalt, “is to not have someone come bother you at home, the goal is to do it ahead of time.” Another project focused on making things better for the community is called JustServe.org and a presentation on Community Service Week was made by Terra Koenig. JustServe.org is a program designed to match volunteer opportunities for service to people who are wanting to volunteer their time and effort. It is a nationwide program facilitated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints searchable by zip code, and Koenig is the facilitator for the Fallon community. “Organizations, churches, schools, all kinds of entities have the ability to post what they need and then individuals can go on, register, and be connected with those you would like to do service for,” said Koenig. She said right now there is an opportunity she likes to help with called “Days for Girls” which makes reusable feminine hygiene products for girls in third-world countries who cannot afford these projects. “The woman who has this group meets once a month at her church, the Christian Life Center, for two-and-a-half hours. You can go to the JustServe website and sign up, you can say if you can sew or cut, that is just one of the things you can sign up to do.” Koenig also announced that the second annual JustServe Community Service Week is coming up and will be held April 20 – 25th. “The idea is that communities unite through service, we know there are a lot of good people who want to do something to serve,” she said. The week will kick-off with “random acts of kindness” and will wrap up on Saturday, April 25th with a 5K run. There are many ways to participate in the service week and anyone interested should contact Koenig through the JustServe website. Guest speaker, Nathan Sam-Whistler, a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe and the Schurz United Methodist Church, talked about suffering through the effects of Bell’s Palsy and how people handle being different from what is considered “normal.” His family, including two of his four daughters, prepared traditional Indian Tacos for the luncheon. Faught said it is her hope that the Interfaith Luncheons can be held on a quarterly basis and will continue to grow. “We’re asking those of you who attended today to encourage your friends of other faiths to join us,” she said.         Never miss the local news -- read more on The Fallon Post home page. If you enjoy The Fallon Post, please support our effort to provide local, independent news and make a contribution today.  Your contribution makes possible this online news source for all things Fallon.