Originally published in the May 2014 Explorer.

On Tuesday evenings from May 6 to September 30, seven or eight food trucks will set up shop in the north parking lot of River Road Church, Baptist. These local vendors will sell pizza, sliders, tacos, barbecue, hot dogs, Asian cuisine and ice cream from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to anyone who shows up.

Any of you who are foodies know about the food truck phenomenon across our country. Large box trucks are outfitted with kitchens, decorated with signs, drive to a central location and diners show up to eat. Think of it as a traveling food court, rolling restaurant, or carry out come to you.

One of the purposes of our church is to offer hospitality and create community in the larger neighborhoods we serve. Already, for example, we welcome our neighbors to our property to enjoy a Halloween celebration called Trunk-or-Treat. Hosting food trucks is another way to invite people to get to know us and each other around the common act of eating together.

The church does not pay a fee to host the trucks. They have an association of truck/restaurant owners who want to participate each Tuesday evening and who will publicize their presence in our parking lot. We will set out tables and chairs where people can eat, allow diners to use our res-rooms off the Lower Commons and open our playground for children to enjoy. No alcoholic beverages will be sold or permitted on our property.

To add value for our members and community, we have moved our summer Vesper services to Tuesday evenings in July and August. We hope that many of you will eat dinner, come to the Chapel for our half-hour service, or vice-versa. I also encourage committees that meet during the summer to schedule their meetings around Vespers and the food trucks. Grab a slider or taco and head inside for your meeting.

Our Board of Administration overwhelmingly approved this use of our facilities, and our newly-formed Membership Committee endorsed it as a way of reaching out to our community. Let’s enjoy some food and fun in the interest of making friends.