Last August, I set myself a challenge - to invite everyone in church, in groups of 8-10, round to my home for a meal. Last night, the final group gathered, and we enjoyed food and friendship. Everyone has now been invited, even if not everoyne has been able to attend (a quick count suggests around ten adults have not made it, though of those, most have been to the manse many times before).
It's been fun. I have cooked goodness knows how many chicken portions for meat eaters as part of the centrepiece 'roast dinner'. Over the months, I've got more lazy and done less scratch cooking - last night I served bought soup! More than the food, though, it has been the coming together and the chat. For the most part, we don't talk about church, we talk about real life. It has been pure joy to have some 'don't do church' partners at my table knowing they would not feel excluded or be prosyletised. It's been lovely to talk with people for longer than is feasible on a Sunday morning.
On Saturday, our Bible study will conclude for this session with an Easter Tea, and I have plans to invite round the Bible Class and their leaders for a meal too. After that, it's a bit of break before I start all over again in the autumn! Might have to think of a new menu though!!