FATHER DAVID’S BLOG OF 1/10/2020: The goal of dinner groups is to bring 8-10 folks together to share a meal and fellowship. Each group will decide when to meet and who will host each dinner.
Folks from the parish attended the Invite-Welcome-Connect summit in 2018 and again in 2019. A recurring brainstorm idea was to form dinner groups. In fact, our church did this several years ago. Those dinner groups were a lot of fun! A couple of those dinner groups continue to meet.
Many parishes have participated in dinner groups, calling them “Foyer Groups.” What is a Foyer Group? I Googled “Foyer Group” on the internet and found this description:
“The French meaning of the word Foyer is hearth or hearthside and evokes an image of warmth and comfort. For untold generations it has been customary for people worldwide to welcome old friends, family members, and newcomers into our homes by gathering around a fire or central location, most often close to where food is being prepared, to celebrate special occasions, to enjoy times of fellowship, and to share moments of camaraderie. In tune with this time-honored tradition of hospitality, the Anglican Community has for many years encouraged the formation of small informal Parish gatherings called Foyer Groups; small, close-knit groups of parishioners sharing a common bond of Christian love and concern for one another.”
Whether we decide to call these gatherings dinner groups or Foyer groups does not matter. In either case they are wonderful opportunities for members of the parish to get together to share a meal and a relaxed time to get to know one another. Once these groups are formed, the groups will decide how often they will meet and who will host the next meal. Emily and I participated the first time we had dinner groups and had a great deal of fun.
The first step in developing these new groups is to first see if there is interest. If you are interested in participating in a dinner group, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on this website. Once I hear from folks who are interested I will then schedule a meeting of those who wish to begin a group to talk through any logistics and questions you might have about the groups. I hope that the groups can be formed sometime in the next couple of months and begin meeting in the spring of 2020 or sooner.
The purpose of having an initial meeting is for me to share what I see as the benefits of these groups and for us together learn from each other the best way to form the groups. I know the temptation is to form groups with folks you know, which I totally understand. This though is an opportunity to share a meal with a folks you know as well as folks you may not know, folks who have joined SsAM in the last couple of years.
If you could email me soon that would be great. I leave for Israel/Palestine on Sunday January 26 and will be away until the evening of February 7. Our initial gathering would then be scheduled, I hope, before the start of Lent in late February.
I hope you will join me and Emily and others to be a part of one of these groups.