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St. Jude's sweetens Fat Tuesday

Cedar City Episcopalians begin Lent with pancake charity drive

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Pancake_9722.jpg:Volunteers and Girl Scouts from troop 1105 wait on diners during Fat Tuesday's pancake dinner at St. Jude's Episcopal Church. The dinner was a fundraiser and a celebration at the beginning of Lent.:

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Pancake_9720.jpg:Volunteers from the congregation of St. Jude's Episcopal Church help prepare pancakes at a charity dinner Tuesday.:

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Pancake_9722.jpg:Volunteers and Girl Scouts from troop 1105 wait on diners during Fat Tuesday's pancake dinner at St. Jude's Episcopal Church. The dinner was a fundraiser and a celebration at the beginning of Lent.:

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Pancake_9720.jpg:Volunteers from the congregation of St. Jude's Episcopal Church help prepare pancakes at a charity dinner Tuesday.:

A pancake dinner took place Tuesday night for Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent, with proceeds going to charity.

The Rev. Susan Wiltsey, of St. Jude's Episcopal Church, said the proceeds from the dinner go to the church's funds for charity efforts.

"We have an outreach fund to help the poor, the elderly and the sick," Wiltsey said. "We need money to do that and this is our major fundraiser for the year."

Wiltsey said the church does not keep any of the money donated at the dinner.

"Whatever money they give, we're giving back," she said. "We take care of one another."

Wiltsey said Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday as it is also known, has historically been a time of celebration.

"You use up all of your kitchen goods before Lent - your butter, pastries and milk - and traditionally they have a big party to do it," Wiltsey said. "It's the last party before you say, 'OK, I'm really going to do this.'"

Wiltsey said Fat Tuesday is the start of the season of Lent, and people usually see that as a negative thing.

"I see it as a rest and not a burden," she said. "It feels better to not make it a negative thing."

Wiltsey said she treats Lent as a good opportunity to reflect on life.

"I see Lent as an opportunity to slow down," she said. "What I give up for Lent is worrying. I want to be much more open and inviting."

Wiltsey said Fat Tuesday and Lent are parts of Catholic and Episcopal tradition.

"The Catholic Church has various traditions that (Fat Tuesday and Lent) are a part of," she said. "The Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists will often jump in on it."

The dinner was waited on by Cedar City Girl Scout troop 1105. Brenna, a girl scout in the troop, said the experience is beneficial.

"It helps us with skills," she said. "It's much like selling something."

Becky Sue Moore, leader of the troop, said the girls are returning the assistance provided by the church in allowing them a place to meet and are also benefiting personally.

"Because the church supports the troop, we help the church out," she said. "It helps (the girls) with their poise and confidence."

Nancy McNeill, a member of the congregation at St. Jude's, said members of the congregation traditionally help organize the dinner.

"Each year, one person from the congregation takes the job," she said. "I arranged for the advertising and helped to find donations."

Wiltsey said St. Jude's also sponsors a weekly dinner for students.

"We have a dinner for SUU students every Thursday at St. Jude's," she said. "It's a kind of interfaith discussion at 5 and at 5:30 we have the dinner."

Leda Burr, a member of the congregation at St. Jude's, said the dinner helps to give back to the community.

"We do some things with the community, including sponsorships," she said. "One of the outreaches the church does is the campus ministry."

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