Belvidere and Hope AA and NA meeting space seven AA groups and one NA group hold weekly meetings at our facilities
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper As a tip of the hat to our roots in the Church of England, many Episcopal churches celebrate Pancake Day on the day before Ash Wednesday. Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, this is the day when Christians use up the fatty rich foods they have on hand to prepare for the season of Lent-a time when we traditionally go without such decadence. The Shrove Tuesday supper at St. Mary’s in Belvidere has been a community staple for decades. Community members remember attending as children, but no one has an idea when this gathering actually began, just that it reaches back to the 1960s and likely earlier. Church membership gathers together to prepare a pancake and sausage supper for the community that also includes homemade desserts and applesauce-again, keeping with the tradition. Baked specialties surface, including rich pies, cakes, and brownies that everyone looks forward to, since these may only show up at this one, special time of year. Seeing extended families gather with other members of the community in the community is the true gift of this annual celebration. While technically a fundraiser, the outreach this event provides to the community is undeniable. Everyone shows up, regardless of their religious background. Families and neighbors re-united after spending the winter months behind closed doors, this supper has become the first “coming out” in anticipation of spring. In the early 2000s, the church incorporated Mardi Gras into the celebration, adding liveDixieland music and traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras décor. The community responded with an even higher attendance, and the event changed from “Shrove Tuesday” to “Mardi Gras Pancake Supper”. In 2016, the joining of St. Luke’s, Hope and St. Mary’s, Belvidere to form the parish called the Church of St. Luke and St. Mary helped the tradition to continue, adding new, enthusiastic volunteers to mingle with the community members attending each year. Old and young, churched and unchurched, rich or poor, all the community comes to enjoy the fellowship and food, and the members of the congregation are there to serve them and make them feel welcomed. Community. Fellowship. Service. The annual pancake supper is a true picture of this church’s vital membership in the Belvidere/Hope community, and an excellent example of the Episcopal Church’s outreach to the local residents.
Victorian DaysOn the second weekend of September there is a festival in Belvidere, NJ that is called Victorian Days. Belvidere is known for their Victorian architecture and neighborhoods. On this weekend the town brings in Arts and Crafts vendors to sell Victorian style items in the town square. The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Mary sells homemade roast beef and turkey sandwiches , pasta salad, peach cobbler, Blueberry buckle, and assorted drinks. The Church is open so people can go in and admire the sanctuary , and our thrift shop is open all weekend.
Hope Christmas Craft Market (cookie walk and book sale) Each year, during the first weekend of December, the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Mary participates in the Hope Christmas Craft Fair. Homemade Christmas cookies baked by parishioners, gently used books, and beautiful holiday decorations are sold to raise funds for the church. Volunteers are needed to help with festivities prior to and during the weekend of this time honored traditional event.