This is the story of a new Grace Fellowship Event and how it came to be. I was elected to the Vestry in 2018 and had the pleasure of working with the Fellowship Commission. This team organizes and manages annual Grace Fellowship Events.
We had not completed a Congregational Evaluation of the current events in terms of participation and satisfaction rates recently and wanted to do so to make sure we were meeting congregational needs for fellowship opportunities.
At the end of April we conducted a survey to collect information, including ideas for new events to help us connect with each other outside of meetings, church and service opportunities.
We had 100 survey responses which was a good number of responses for a survey of this type. Both the early and the late service attendees contributed responses. The response rate was high enough for the team to be confident we received answers which were common denominators across the congregation. More importantly, we could make program decisions based on the data we received.
One of the survey questions asked for new event ideas to increase people-to-people connections in new ways. Of the ideas we received from the survey, we decided to try Pints & Perspectives. P&P is an opportunity to connect with the people of Grace in a casual setting, in the evening, with beer, wine and other beverages and/or food, and in small groups.
Our first session was the first Monday in October 2018. So far we have had 5 P&Ps with 8-16 people participating each time. We are connecting and learning new and interesting things about fellow parishioners and laughing a lot!
Here’s how it works:
–We meet on the first Monday of every month from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Big Lake Brewing.
–Four people sit at each table. We’ve found this is a good number for conversation.
–There are hosts to greet everyone and to make sure people rotate who they sit with from session to session. Hosts also select the conversation starter questions.
–People decide what they would like to eat and/or drink. Everyone pays their own tab and tip.
–While the wait staff places the orders, and the orders are made, we take turns answering the question.
–Here are some question examples:
What do you do to de-stress?
What was your first job?
What is something that is popular now that annoys you?
What is most meaningful to you about worship at Grace?
Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become?
What’s something you’ve tried that you’ll never try again?
–When the drinks/food come, we continue taking turns answering questions and enjoying conversation usually until 7 p.m. though the wrap-up is sometimes earlier or later and we’re flexible!
This is a great event to connect members of Grace at a meaningful level in a casual environment with interesting and enjoyable conversation. We invite you to join us for Pints & Perspectives at one of the Monday night sessions soon. If you come to one it’s likely we’ll see you again!
Submitted by: Connie Remenschneider