Pastor offering a chance for simple conversation He plans to be at Lunch on the Plaza each week for anyone who wants to chat

These days, a lot of people have communication with others via social media, but they often don’t have anyone to talk to in person. The Rev. Gary Erdos is offering to be that person.

Thursday during Lunch on the Plaza, Erdos sat in one of two folding patio chairs set up at the southeast corner of the fountain pool in Freimann Square. The sign leaning against the other chair said, “You talk & I listen.”

It’s really just that simple, he said.

“I’m not here to proselytize,” said Erdos, the senior pastor at Trinity English Lutheran Church downtown at 450 W. Washington Blvd. He or a member of his pastoral staff plan to be at Lunch on the Plaza from about 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday through the summer to offer an opportunity for civil conversation.

He and staff members saw a video about someone doing something similar in another community and decided to try it, he said. Serving as a pastor centers around working with people, and you can’t always wait for them to come to you.

No one immediately jumped at the chance to chat Thursday – his first outing – but that didn’t worry him. With something like this, you have to hang with it and show you are serious, he said.

“I’m not here to tell you what to do,” he added.

Depending on what people want to talk about, he may not even offer any advice, he said. But sometimes talking through your situation with someone helps you figure it out on your own.

The goal is just to help people build better relationships and a stronger community, he said. <br>

<center> Lunch dates </center><br>

Lunch on the Plaza will take place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursdays now through August at Freimann Square.