Since October 2001, Northside residents have gathered weekly for a free community dinner. This tradition began at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, on Kirby Avenue, when church members, led by David Vanderplough, began preparing and hosting the meals and birthed “Phil’s Place.” Over time, other Episcopal Churches got involved, taking turns cooking and serving the meals.
When the St. Philip’s congregation began worshipping at CAIN (Churches Active in Northside), the meal was served in the front parking lot of the charitable organization’s Hamilton Avenue location in the summer, and in the auditorium of North Presbyterian Church, also on Hamilton Avenue, in winter. When St. Philip’s closed in 2010, CAIN was asked to ensure that this vital ministry continued. CAIN accepted the opportunity to expand its mission of hospitality and continues to coordinate this critical ministry.
It has been a success. Sixty to 125 community members are served each week by a dedicated team of volunteers from area churches and service organizations. In addition to feeding bodies, Phil’s Place also nourishes minds and souls as the guests and volunteers interact and support one another.
All are welcome to enjoy food and fellowship, every Monday from 5p.m. to 6p.m., at North Presbyterian Church, October through April, and in the CAIN parking lot, May through September.
CAIN is grateful of North Presbyterian Church, World Outreach Christian Church-Whole Again Ministries, and First United Church Christ of College Hill, who prepare and serve quarterly meals, and Clifton United Methodist Church and Bad to the Bone Service Organization who serve monthly.
CAIN – Churches Active In Northside
4230 Hamilton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45223
By Reverend Deborah Gamble
The Reverend Deborah Gamble served as vicar of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church for 10 years. She has lived next door to CAIN and ministered in Northside since 2000. Phil’s Place is just one of her “retirement” passions.