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Lansing Lions serve at Trinity Lutheran Church

December community dinner includes visit from Santa

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 19, 2018) – Trinity Lutheran Church has been hosting a monthly community dinner for several years. It’s a free, homemade meal served by cheerful volunteers and enjoyed by about 100 people—churched and unchurched alike. Each month, Pastor John Holyer prays over the meal, and often he lets guests know about upcoming church events or regular Sunday services, but there is no pressure to attend or convert or somehow “earn” the meal. Trinity Lutheran Church just wants to get to know their neighbors, and a free dinner is one way to show hospitality.

Jim Janssen is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He’s also a member of the Lansing Lions. So when Lions President Eric Himmel began encouraging the club to be more personally involved in the Lansing community, Janssen made a connection between the Lions and the Lutherans. For the December dinner, held on December 17, a Lions donation paid for the meal, and Lions lined up with ladles and tongs to serve the guests.

Lansing Lions President Eric Himmel (left) and Lion Jim Janssen were among the Lions who served at Trinity Lutheran Church’s December community meal. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The crowd was about twice the usual size, largely because Trinity Lutheran Church and the Lansing Lions had invited Santa, and they spread the word to a number of Lansing families. Santa met with the children and gave them gift bags that had been provided and assembled by Trinity Lutheran Church members and included donations from both Trinity and the Lions.

Approximately 200 people enjoyed the December community meal. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In a separate room, Santa met with the children, who were excited yet well-behaved. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Rev. John Holyer served as Santa’s helper. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 2505 Indiana Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. Their community dinners are typically served on the fourth Monday of the month, though sometimes the schedule changes because of holidays or other events. Contact the church for more information about the dinners and other church programs:

The Lansing Lions hold a Board meeting on the first Tuesday of each month and a dinner meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month. For more information about getting involved or becoming a Lansing Lion, contact President Eric Himmel:


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Great job and certainly feel God will reward both Trinity Lutheran and Lansing Lions for what looks to like to me from Florida a great Blessed job well done.

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