We live in a community that has many outreach programs that truly are remarkable.
Many churches reach out to their congregations with the hope of helping those who truly are in need. Businesses large and small get involved to support their community. I have so much pride in our Owensboro, Kentucky hometown. We are a very giving and caring community.
There are so many men and women who have a natural gift from God in putting their words into action. They seem to step up and become very dependable when it counts. I’ve been very fortunate to know many people who fill the shoes of the stewardship role with ease.
Most people, not all, are pretty consistent with their habits. It could be having that routine of sitting in the same pew every Sunday. Seeing and talking to the same people in our little circle of friends. And that’s okay! Everyone who knows me really well, knows I’m a creature of habit. So how can we get to know as many people within our church walls and literally step out of the box?
Before the pandemic, I was approached after church by a friend of mine, Sabrina Johnson. Sabrina had expressed to me how she wanted to invite some single women from our parish for dinner and serve them.
Sabrina had shared with us that reaching out to the single women within our parish kept pervading her thoughts. It was then that she realized that this was in fact the prompting of the Holy Spirit trying to get her attention.
Over time more planning started to come into play. What would be the theme? How to get the names of the women and how to reach them.
Because this event was meant to reach out to the women in our church parish, it was just as important for Sabrina to include scripture and prayer. Since it was going to be a room full of women, why not incorporate the women in the Bible to be the focal point. And there you have it … “Women of The Way”
With some planning and hard work, Sabrina picked out strong and courageous women in the Bible. Women from scripture were on the name tags. Each woman who came to the dinner put on their name tag that gave a little history of their role biblically, which in turn opened up the gates of communication with the ladies. Discussing the role these holy women had in the bible.
After the meal and discussion, the women who attended started to share their personal stories with the group. Their powerful testimonies of their life impacted everyone who came to serve these women. The conversations were open and relaxed. They truly enjoyed the sharing experience, and getting to know more women in the parish.
I had spoken to two of the single women who had come to the dinner party, and they shared with me how powerful the dinner party was for them. I got a strong sense that this was indeed a blessing for all who participated, given the atmosphere of sharing they experienced.
The Holy Spirit was surely present, and this was meant to be a memorable experience for everyone. (Matthew 18:20) “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” Anytime you incorporate prayer and scripture, God is amongst us.
It is with great hope that those who read this article may try to establish friendships of men and women, single or married, and to step out of our boxes, out of our comfort zones and go out into the deep.
We need to get to know the faces we see every Sunday in our churches. No matter how big your church is, or small, make that effort. Sometimes small talk is just what we need.
Julie Murphy is an active member of Blessed Mother Catholic Church was a former contributing writer for Western Kentucky Catholic former religious catechist at Blessed Mother Church.