Breaking Barriers and Fostering Community at Midway

By Merv Budd, Lead Pastor, North Burlington Baptist Church

In the midst of a rapidly changing world, where the pace of life often feels relentless, North Burlington Baptist Church has embraced a powerful initiative to bring people together and combat the isolating effects of the pandemic. Enter “Midway,” a Wednesday night program that has become a beacon of connection, warmth, and nourishment for the community.

At the heart of Midway is a simple yet profound idea: on Wednesday nights, there is something for everyone, #everybodyin. The evening kicks off with a complimentary supper served at 5:45 pm, setting the stage for a time of fellowship and relationship building. Following the meal, programs for all ages are provided, encompassing preschool, Kids’ Club, youth activities, and adult classes. The goal is clear – to reduce barriers and create an inclusive environment where people from all walks of life can come together, share a meal, forge meaningful connections, and grow in faith.

Midway’s origin story is rooted in the recognition of the heightened loneliness experienced during the pandemic. With societal changes leading to increased isolation, the church saw a pressing need to provide a space for people to come together and combat the prevailing sense of solitude. Thus, Midway was born as a response to the emotional and social challenges brought about by these unprecedented times.

The decision to offer a free home-cooked meal is a deliberate move to eliminate logistical hurdles that may prevent individuals and families from participating in midweek church activities. By extending a warm invitation to share in a meal, Midway creates a welcoming atmosphere that goes beyond perceived religious boundaries, inviting people to connect and build relationships in a relaxed setting.

Midway is not just a church program; it is a lifeline for a community seeking connection and support. By offering a welcoming space, a free meal, and a diverse array of programs, Midway has successfully turned Wednesday nights into a time of warmth, inclusivity, and shared joy. It is a shining example of how a simple idea can have a profound impact on combating loneliness and building a stronger, more connected community.

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