On Saturday, October 17, our church deacons hosted a fellowship event called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”. Following are reflections from Amy McGowan about that night.
I admit it: I was nervous. Although my husband, Scott, and I have been attending NSCBC for about a year and a half, there are still many people we don’t know. So odds were pretty good that we would have dinner with strangers. What would we talk about? How many would be there? Would there be a struggle for conversation?
But there’s something else I have to admit: I was also really looking forward to this. I mean, odds were also pretty good that we would get to know new people! Who would we meet? What connections would we discover? How many more familiar faces would we now see on Sundays in the Family Room over toasted bagels and banana bread?
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – This is how we chose to spend our Saturday evening. As Scott and I drove to the church for appetizers and our host assignment, we wondered who we might meet. We signed up to be guests, so as we arrived to church to find out where we were going for the evening, our hosts were at home preparing dinner for their unknown guests. We got to the church and were handed our assignment: the Ersings. . . . Who are the Ersings? No idea.
After a simultaneous moment of inspiration, we snuck away from the chips and salsa, down the hall, and to the ever-so-helpful photo directory outside the church office: . . . oh, the Ersings! We’ve seen them before, but never met. After some mingling and discovering where others were going for the evening, we left for dinner.
And it was a great evening. Curtis and Joanne were wonderful hosts and it was great to finally know them. I don’t know how long it might have taken to meet them had it not been for this event. Their son, John, and Joanne’s mom, Jean, were also there. The other guest family was the Ranges. We had met Clay and Laura before, but didn’t know them well. Great food and conversation spread throughout the evening. At one point the thought hit me: this is what fellowship in the church looks like. We are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and this is what drew us together. Sure, more connections were discovered on top of that, but this is where it begins. There’s an inexplicable commonality within the body of Christ.
On the way home that night, Scott and I agreed: we would do this again in a heartbeat. In fact, I hope this does happen again. What a great way to jumpstart new friendships. The next day at church when I saw our hosts and fellow guests, I was able to stop and talk in a way that I didn’t do before we shared dinner together.
“One another” statements are abundant in scripture: love one another, serve one another, receive, care for, submit to, encourage, comfort, confess to, admonish, and the list goes on. How can we do any of these if we do not know each other? How can I serve you if I don’t know what you need? How can I admonish you if that knowledge and trust is not already present? How can I encourage you if I don’t know you’re discouraged?
I have to admit: I am really glad I went. I am thankful that the desire to build fellowship won out over feelings of nervousness and the unknown. And the questions I had at the beginning? Turns out I did have dinner with people I didn’t really know, but that was the point after all. We talked about life, our interests, our families – you know, normal painless topics. Oh, and one other thing: the answer is eight. Eight is the number of new familiar faces that I now see over toasted bagels and banana bread.