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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Make it Fun!

Quite some time ago, while discussing an upcoming event at Scarborough, Carman challenged us to “make it fun!” Those words have stayed with me, and bore fruit this past week in another, quite different event, also at Scarborough.

Like most congregations, Christmas is a time when tradition and celebration combine in a long list of worship and fellowship opportunities. One of those opportunities is our annual Ladies Pot Luck Dinner. (Sorry guys, you can only come if you wash the dishes.) Every year on the first Tuesday of December, we get together to share food, fellowship and worship.

This used to be a well attended event, but over the years fewer and fewer people have come out. There are many reasons to explain the decline. People have passed away or moved away. Members live at great distances from the church, and a long, two-way drive in the dark becomes less and less attractive as we grow older. And, we all live such busy lives that sometimes we just can’t fit another event into our already packed schedules.

The Ladies’ Dinner used to be an event to which we gladly invited our friends and family, but once again, over the years, fewer and fewer guests have joined us. It got to the point that we have seriously questioned whether we should continue with the dinner just for the sake of tradition.

One of the main reasons to continue was the Eppleworth Group. The Eppleworth Group is a school for mentally challenged adults and young adults that uses our facility during the week. The school and its extended community is an important part of our community, and the Ladies Pot Luck Dinner in December is one of the few opportunities we have over the year to get together and socialize. We treasure that time.

But sometimes even treasured events lose their lustre, and that seemed to be happening at our dinner. Frankly, over the past several years it has not only become smaller and smaller, it’s also become quieter and quieter. We gathered, we ate awesome food (that was one thing that always remained excellent), we socialized and we worshiped – but somehow something was missing. Perhaps it was the declining numbers. Perhaps it was the familiar faces. Perhaps it was the way that the two groups, Eppleworth and Scarborough, mixed happily around the punch bowl, but always seemed to separate at the tables.

Whatever the problem was, this year we decided to take Carman’s advice and “make it fun.” We decided to do a proper “mixer;” a silly little thing where William had to find his Kate, etc. We almost had to shout to be heard so we could start the meal! Further, since we’ve also been encouraging people to invite, we had extra guests. As we sat down to eat it was wonderful to see how people were sitting in different groupings, and even the new guests were comfortably sitting with complete strangers and having a great time.

People were still talking about what a great time we had on Sunday, when the word was being passed along to those who hadn’t been able to join us this year. More than one person was not only to sorry to have missed the dinner, but will be highlighting the event on next year’s calendar. Who would have thought it: fun works!

Posted by Linda Armstrong, Mission Advocate for Toronto Area Congregations

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