I have written about the importance of connecting, relationships and friendships before. Life can get so busy or routine that you don't stop and take time to develop and nurture friendships. The irony is: Relationships are what life is all about! Do you find this is true?
Our church has become fairly large, so the good old fashioned potluck really doesn't "happen" (much to my chagrin). So, I took a concept an old girlfriend of mine had invented called the "Grub Club" and used it as a way to connect with other couples at our church and encourage simple friendship and fellowship. First, you gather about 12 couples together who are interested in connecting (you don't even have to know each other well to start). The concept is that once a month you all gather together at one of the couples houses for dinner. Because you have about 12 couples, you should only have to host once a year. Everyone brings a dish to share and a beverage of choice, with the exception of the hosts -- they just have to have a house ready for company! We come with our food, and leave with our dirty casseroles. We do give permission for one night of paper plates, if only to encourage people that you can have a crowd of people over to your house without stress. So often times this seems to be such a hindrance to inviting folks over to one another's homes. The perception is "We are all so busy, and it's just too much work!" We created an EVITE account for our group. The hosts send out the EVITE in time for everyone to obtain babysitters, usually people will create some type of theme with a little guidance on food. When you RSVP, you write down what dish you plan on bringing -- just so everyone doesn't end up bringing green bean casserole! We have been at it for about one year, have developed deep friendships, and when the EVITE goes out, we all scramble to get our sitters / grandparents lined up so that we can join in the fun! Now you may have done the math and thought to yourself -- EEekkk, 24 people in my house! But, invariably, sadly, people get sick (we missed you Sue and Dave!), have other plans, or can't get a sitter. However, we have proven that even those houses folks say are small -- we can jam into and be perfectly happy!
(Any of you Community Covenant Folks out there ... we are looking for people to start another group, if you're willing and interested. Let me know!)
L-R: Matt, Victor and Me (Sandy)
I'd like to point out my groovin' retro 1970's fondue pot here, inherited from my Mom.
L-R: Carl, Michelle and Kara
Tracey, Peter and Kayla (and Vivian and Jacob's hands "dipping")
Vivian and Jacob
Carl - Cooking a meatball, and being a ham.
Tracey and Peter introduced us to the Oil Fondue,
where you fry various things in boiling oil. Read about it here.
Victor and I saw a broth version of this called Hotpot while in China -- read about it here.
Invariably, good conversation ensues . . .
If not intense debate and discussion about nearly everything under the sun.
Top good food and good conversation with some healthy competition.
Usually, we get around to playing some games.
(Look at Michelle, eager to buzz Jacob for the smallest slip-up.
Word on the street has it that she's is gifted at this game. Watch out!)
I think Carl is praying that the "guys" break daunting odds (based on the incredible skill and wisdom of the gals) and win the game of Taboo.
Kara, Matt and Peter
Kara and Matt
Vivian, always the Timer Czar.
(No grace from the timer czar, just in case you were thinking of asking for some.)