December 11, 2015 3 Comments
I’ve written before about hosting church coffee hour. The people in my church are willing to eat packaged coffee-cakes and things of that ilk, but most of them prefer healthier snacks, and so do I–our coffee hour begins just before noon, so my stomach is ready for lunch, not just simple carbs! I try hard to avoid making the excuse that I’m too busy to serve healthy, basically “real”, vegetarian food with some nutrients. This article explains how to be prepared to serve real food for a snacky gathering on short notice, and gives one example of the specific array of food one might serve.
My church’s coffee hours are coordinated by a volunteer called the Hospitality Chairperson. I was Hospitality Chairperson for three years, started to feel burned out, and turned over the position to the awesome Barb Curlee, who did it for nine years but finally decided it was too much work for a cancer patient–and nobody else wanted the job, so I took it back! It was something of a leap of faith, since at that point I was newly pregnant and starting to feel queasy, but for a long while it was easy to recruit volunteers and I only had to bring the food once every few months. But then we hit a dry spell.
Every Sunday, I set out the coffee hour sign-up book on the table next to the food. It’s a nice little binder that another parishioner fills each year with pages listing the dates of all the Sundays and special events, with Bible quotes chosen to inspire generous food-sharing! Ideally, people notice the book, sign up for a Sunday, remember to bring the food, set it up, and clean it up–and all I have to do is thank them graciously and keep an eye on whether or not they remembered to put out the napkins and fill the cream pitcher. Sometimes, though, everyone’s busy or not paying attention, so I spend coffee hour begging people to sign up, and then I fill in for the Sundays nobody wanted.
This particular coffee hour was in late September (I just now found the photo and remembered I’d planned to post about it!) five or six weeks after I’d been in a car accident. I was doing kind of okay, but I needed a lot of rest and was having trouble remembering and/or getting around to all of the things I usually do. It was Thursday or Friday morning when I suddenly grabbed my ten-year-old Nicholas and gasped, “Did anybody sign up for coffee hour? Did we even put out the book?!” He couldn’t remember, either. Luckily, the church is on my way home from work, so I stopped by and tiptoed around the AA meeting to check out my little binder. Alas, Sunday’s sign-up space was bare! . . . and then I forgot all about it until Saturday morning, when we were shopping in Trader Joe’s and Nicholas said, “Can we try Eggplant Garlic Dip? We could serve it at coffee hour!” and I agreed . . . and then I forgot all about it until Saturday night at 11:22 p.m. when I had finally gotten my toddler to sleep and was tidying up the kitchen and noticed the jar of dip sitting randomly on the counter. Read more…