The world aches for people who are willing to invite people into their lives. People who will welcome the stranger in ways great and small. The world is longing for genuine hospitality.
This lent, our church is practicing becoming hospitable people, because Jesus used hospitality to change the world!
Jesus often led or created hospitable environments to welcome people to himself and employ them in his mission. As the church of Jesus, it is our job to follow suit, and learn how to create hospitable environments to welcome others and introduce them to Jesus and his kingdom. One of the ways that Jesus described God's kingdom was a wedding feast that a king prepared for his son, a banquet that was available for everyone.
So, this lent, we declare that we can each learn how to become more hospitable people. And we begin with those in the church that we might not know well.
Here's how it works. Sign up for the days and times that you prefer to meet. Then we will assign different people from various backgrounds to a group to meet together once a week for a meal. At each meal, we will not only eat together, but we will play a game called "Table Talk."
Table Talk will be a game that we play together to learn more about each other as we practice hospitality. Each week, the theme will be based on a meal that Jesus had with others. As we learn about Jesus' hospitality, the game will help us tell stories and share life experiences and together learn how we can become hospitable like Jesus.
1) When will the groups begin?
Since Spring Break is the first week of Lent, we are proposing that each group begin meeting during the Week of March 17. To fulfill the six-weeks of the study, we encourage each group to meet one additional week after Easter as well. If you would like, you may meet on the week of March 10 and skip Holy Week if you prefer. The goal is to meet for six weeks in whichever ways you can.
2) Can I choose who is in my group?
While spouses and families can sign up together, we hope that you will not try to arrange a group with your friends you already know. The goal is to meet new people in the church that you might not know yet.
3) Is there childcare available?
Each group can decide what they want to do with their kids. Most families provide their own childcare worker in their homes during the dinner. We can help subsidize the cost if needed.
4) What day of the week are the groups?
We are asking that you put your top two preferences for days of the week you are available. If the group you are assigned to does not fit your schedule, then we can accomodate your schedule as needed.
5) Do I have to host a group?
Once the groups are assigned, the group will find a host house to meet at. You can decide to rotate homes or you can host in the same home each week.
6) Do I have to cook a meal?
This is another topic we are leaving for the groups to decide on their own. Some people are great cooks and might love to cook while others would prefer to order take-out for everyone. The goal is for the meals to not be too fancy.
7) Will I have to prepare a lesson?
There will be no preperation required to play the game each week. Each person will receive a card at the meal to spark conversation.
8) Day or Night?
For those that prefer not to get out at night or simply prefer to meet during the daytime, we have a lunch groups option. Just make sure and select "lunch" for your preferred time of day.
9) How will I know which group I will be in?
We will contact you by March 6th with the names and contact info of those in your group. We will help facilitate your first meeting place, time and meal responsibilities for your first meeting. After the initial meeting, feel free to adapt to your group's convenience.