St. John United Church of Christ in St. Clair held its annual sausage and sauerkraut dinner Sunday, Oct. 11, and according to the church pastor Laura Mignerone, it was a success.

“We served 141 adult meals and five kids meals,” Mignerone said, adding the church serves 180 meals in a normal year.

“That was way more than we expected and we are pleased with that,” Mignerone said.

The meals served included sausage, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, green beans and a dessert. The cost was $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The sausage was donated by O6 Environmental LLC and the side dishes came prepackaged and premade from Country Mart in St. Clair, according to Linda Rucker, church member, who helps in the church kitchen.

The dinner’s proceeds go toward the mission and ministry work the church does in the community, as well as its work with Agape House and youth programs in St. Clair.

Mignerone said the dinner gave patrons the opportunity to do good for others in the moment, in addition to the donation they made for the meal.

“We have several people pay it forward for the car behind them,” Mignerone said.

The church has been doing the sausage and sauerkraut dinner for 50 years and this year posed some unique challenges, Rucker said.

“It was a challenge figuring out how many people we thought we would need to be cooking for,” Rucker said, adding that this year they had to modify the meal’s dessert.

“Normally, people bring in homemade desserts and we could not do that (due to COVID-19),” Rucker said. “This year, we decided just to do brownies.”

The current pandemic also affected the way the sausage dinner normally looks. This year’s event was held as a drive-thru where families could take their meals to eat at home, but normally the dinner serves as an opportunity for people to gather.

“In years past, we have had it in the fellowship hall and groups could gather and talk around the table,” Rucker said. “Normally, the meals are served family style.”

She said the passing around of plates and chatter was missed this year.