Posted by: sailingmartha | March 29, 2011

Fellowship

I really enjoy the fellowship aspect of our church. We are quite small, on average I’d say there are around 40-50 people in attendance. We have a wide range of ages, from toddlers to senior citizens. Most are cradle Orthodox with a smattering of converts. Almost every Sunday, after Liturgy, we have a coffee hour, which is a chance for everyone to socialize. Different families take turns hosting it. This has been a new experience for me and one which I thoroughly enjoy.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking trying to plan a meal for a large group, keep it within a certain budget, and time the cooking for everything to be ready once Liturgy ends, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to minister to people in this manner. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my cooking skills, even though I don’t attempt any gourmet creations. I always get smiles and words of appreciation that let me know people enjoyed the food I provided, and that makes me very happy.

Another reason I like coffee hour at church, is the opportunity for people to meet and mingle. It’s nice to see people hang around to eat and talk, and not rush out the door the minute service is over. I think it gives us a chance to build community and get to know each other on an informal level. The kids have fun showing off their new handheld video games to each other, and often they’ll go outside and shoot some hoops. The adults drink coffee, eat and catch up on the weekly news. It’s a good way for visitors to our church to get to know us a little better, and for us to know them.

We also recently started a new fellowship group for the women of the church, which we call The Sisterhood of the Myrrh-Bearing Women. Our goal is to socialize and have fun, and also to do some fundraising for the needs of the church. We meet every other month for dinner out at a restaurant, and we have door prizes, and talk a little shop. Our immediate goal is to raise enough money with our dues and donations to purchase some new vestments for our pastor.

Our church is not what I would call a seeker-sensitive church, but I hope people who venture in will feel the warmth and fellowship and want to return.

And in reference to my earlier post on parish council, I’m glad to report that things are improving. I was able to talk to Father last week and express my concerns, and he addressed them and I feel confident that the things that bothered me won’t be repeated. We are trying out a lot of new roles at church, and there are some bumps in the road, but I believe things will work out fine if we’re patient and grant each other grace.

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