For the sixth year in a row, members of the Grove Ministerial Alliance will mark the Lenten season with the "Soup & Sermon" series, each Tuesday leading to Easter Sunday, now until Tuesday, March 27.

The meal and message, hosted by local church congregations, will take place each week in the West Wing of First United Methodist Church, Grove.

Since 2013, under the direction of Earl Cumbie, the alliance has sponsored the series of lenten meals and services.

Cumbie said he appreciates how the services are informal, and bring members of the community together for worship. He developed the idea after seeing it be a success in his former hometown of Hope, Arkansas.

Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, Feb. 14, is a 40-day period when Christian prepare for Easter with fasting, repentance, moderation, prayer or other spiritual discipline.

Cumbie said the series, is free and open to the public. It is designed to give people a chance to come, take part in a meal in the midst of a busy work day. Cumbie said the serving line will keep serving so all can eat, even those who might not be able to get there at the start.

Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. There will be music and a short message given by a pastor from the hosting church immediately following. Services end at 12:50 p.m., to allow people to return to work.

Cumbie said it's all designed to help believers as they journey toward Easter Sunday and the resurrection.

He said the best thing about the service is that it gives members of the various congregations a chance to gather together for fellowship. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, more than 209 people attended the mid-week luncheon - a record number for the first week of the series.

This year’s remaining schedule is as follows:

Feb. 28 - Delaware Baptist Church. March 7 - Faith Church. March 14 - First Christian Church. March 21- Cornerstone Church. March 28 - First Assembly of God.

For more information on Soup & Sermon, persons interested may contact Cumbie at 918-791-1864 or 918-786-4419. First UMC is located at 1005 Leisure Road, Grove.