Pork and sauerkraut served at Dover church


Ben Myers serves Carolyn Dillman, of Dover Township, a plate of pork and sauerkraut Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Dover Township.   Amanda J. Cain photo

Sunday was an unusual day for service at Calvary Lutheran Church in Dover.

With New Year's Day landing on a Sunday this year, churchgoers got something a little different for the holiday.

The congregation was treated to a church service and the annual pork and sauerkraut dinner, a meal that typically brings in more than 200 people.

"We could smell it all the way upstairs. That made it kind of hard to get through the service," the Rev. John Woods joked.

Karen Myers, of Dover Township, watches her husband, Ben, stir a roaster full of pork and sauerkraut Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Dover Township. Amanda J. Cain photo

The meal: Pork and sauerkraut, typically eaten in Pennsylvania Dutch tradition on New Year's Day for good luck, has been served at the church for nine years. 

Woods commended the efforts of the volunteers and noted the turnout Sunday.

"It's grown. This is a great crowd for us," Woods said.

He said the church had to have only one service, as opposed to two, to accommodate the meal.

Becky Snelbecker, chair of the fellowship committee, said when the church first started serving the meal, fewer than 100 people attended. In 2016, more than 250 people stopped in for food.

"They keep coming back," she said.

Snelbecker said about 25 volunteers prepared more than 100 pounds of pork and about 25 pounds of sauerkraut for the event. Mashed potatoes and rolls were served with the meal. 

The proceeds from the day go back to the church, with 10 percent going to a local charity.

Snelbecker said it takes a couple of days to prepare everything.

Good luck: On Sunday morning, the social hall of the church was filled with guests. 

Among them was Neil Wintrode. Wintrode, of Dover, said he and his family had just joined the church and thought the event was a good way to meet people. 

Wintrode said it was his first time eating the pork and sauerkraut at the church but not his first time having the meal itself.

"Every year, we have some pork and sauerkraut somewhere," he said. 

The tradition is meant to bring good luck, which is what Wintrode said he was hoping for in 2017.

"I'm happy if everyone's healthy," he said.

Dave Mummert, of Dover, shared similar thoughts. Mummert, who had gone to the dinner three times before, called the meal "excellent" and praised the portions given out.

When asked what he was looking forward to in the coming year, he said "good health and retirement."

For more information on the church, check its Facebook page or website.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.