By LESLIE COLLINS
October 9, 2013
Some churches host food pantries or clothing closets. St. John’s Anglican Church is offering a cake pan library.
St. John’s Anglican Church, 517 Kensington Ave., Kansas City, Mo., recently launched its cake pan library and the idea stemmed from congregation member and Northeast resident Dorri Partain.
Partain saw the idea in a local newspaper where the Kansas City, Kan., Public Library system created a cake pan library where residents could use their library cards to check out cake pans.
“I really liked the idea because I bake cakes for my kids and I bought a few of those shaped pans and I knew they weren’t terribly cheap,” Partain said.
For nearly a year, the church has been collecting cake pans and is now up to a dozen.
“I’d like to have 20 or 30 pans to choose from. I don’t know at what point you stop,” she said with a laugh.
St. John’s current collection includes Sesame Street’s Big Bird, a Care Bear, clown, princess crown, miniature teddy bears, a Smurf and more. Donations to the cake pan library are always welcome, she said.
With a small congregation, the church doesn’t have enough manpower to host something like a food pantry, but the cake pan library is one avenue the church can give back to the community.
“We’re trying to keep our name and face out there and this is just one small way that we can do that,” Partain said.
For her two children, now ages eight and 18, she’s made birthday cakes ranging from Sponge Bob to the Cheshire Cat to Winnie the Poo to Curious George, among others.
“I like how creative you can be because you’re using a different medium,” she said. “You’re using cake and you’re using icing. It’s all edible. It’s like edible artwork.”
Partain’s favorite church cake pan is the lamb, which was donated by a congregation member whose mother made the lamb-shaped cake every year for Easter. The pan is three-dimensional, which presents a welcome challenge for Partain.
For those questioning their decorating skills, Partain recommends visiting www.wilton.com for decorating ideas. Most of the church’s pans are made by Wilton, she said, and the site offers decorating instructions for each pan.
“I’m creative, but I want to save money,” she said. “I have never had a cake made (by a bakery). I like to do it myself and I’m sure there’s other people like me. And if they haven’t tried it, maybe if they had access to something like this they would try it.
“I’m excited about it. I hope that people in the community will take advantage of it and contact us.”