As the daughter of the late Wendy Long, a very faithful and involved member of Temple Lutheran Church, a lot of my childhood was spent at the church. I received my First Communion at church, I was part of the confirmation class of 2008, I was part of the children’s choir, became an acolyte, and even helped give grape juice for communion during Church Service. Many of my Sunday mornings were spent at TLC in Bible School. Those who have been with the church for a while have watched me grow up from the time I was a young adolescent; I am now 26.
One of my fondest memories is the annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. It’s an one-night event where the church is transformed into an Italian setting. Mission partners and the community come flooding into the church to enjoy a night of great company and a delicious meal. Lights are dimmed, candles are lit, the air smells like meat-and-tomato sauce, and children of the church act as servers to the patrons.
This event would never have happened without a dedicated team of chefs, decorators, and organizers. My mom was an integral part of this dedicated team. She, along with a few others started this Spaghetti Dinner tradition. As it transformed over the years, it became an event that not only church mission partners looked forward to, but also the Delaware County community looked forward to.
As a kid, I remember setting up tables, and moving chairs and helping my mom decorate the restaurant area. Many years ago I helped my mom drip red and white candle wax over empty wine bottles, décor that is still used today for the event. Every year, I would watch my mom collect items for the raffle baskets. People would donate anything and everything to her and it was her mission to create a themed-basket where that donated item would fit.
Now that she has passed away, I think of this event as part of her legacy. It is something that I hope the church will continue doing – as I, and the community really look forward to it. This year we were able to hold it In Memory of Wendy Long on May 22nd, 2021. It was wonderful to have the event, even as a To-Go function. She and all the other servants for this event worked very hard to see its success. I know she would be proud.