Pastor hopes community potluck will bring neighbors together in Torrington
TORRINGTON, Wyo. — The Rev. Brian Gross hopes to bring home a vision of bringing neighbors together during a community potluck in downtown Torrington on July 29.
Gross, priest at All Saints Episcopal Church, said a few years ago he was walking through downtown.
“I had this vision of a giant table going down the middle of the street and people coming out and eating together,” he said.
Each summer, Gross said he thought about organizing the meal, but would end up putting it off. This summer was different.
“I decided I wasn’t going to put it off anymore,” he said.
This Sunday, the city will close Main Street between 20th and 21st so tables can be set up on the street. The dinner is open to anyone and everyone, with the intention that visitors will bring food to share with their neighbors. Gross hopes that, by eating together, Torrington’s community will grow more close-knit.
“We don’t know who our neighbors are anymore, we don’t spend time getting to know the people in our community,” he said. “We just don’t get together as a community much anymore, unless it’s for a tragedy.”
He emphasized that the dinner is not an Episcopalian event or pushing a viewpoint.
“We’re just trying to get the community together on something that doesn’t have a sponsor behind it,” Gross said, “nothing besides just getting together and having a dinner together.”
Other churches in the community are helping by bringing drinks, utensils and tables to the event. Gross said he was overwhelmed by the number of people and churches who were willing to help out.
“I’ve been getting phone calls from people asking if they can help out,” he said. “I’ve seen it on social media, not from me but from other people I don’t know advertising for it. I’m excited about it. I’m thrilled that folks are talking about it.”
Gross said he may consider another, similar event, depending on the turnout for the potluck.
“If it works out and it goes well, then maybe something will grow from it,” he said. “We can start traditions of getting together for no other reason than to get together.”
Set-up for the meal will start at 3 p.m. and the meal itself will start at 4 p.m.