Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Church and Brunch and Love and Lunch

 It was a good thing both Kayla and Cooper had a full day of plans for Saturday, though we could have used their help, I suppose. Cooper went to Springfield to help out with Club Hope which is an outreach ministry to homeless kids and their families.  Coop's friend Cameron and his family started the ministry within the last year.  Coop loves helping out with the kids, riding in the vans and playing basketball with them.  He always comes home with cute and sometimes sad stories.

Kayla enjoyed her day in Salem, MA, though I'm not sure how much actual history she absorbed.  The reports I got were that the teen girls spent most of the day singing Frozen songs and Christmas carols at the tops of their lungs all the way through town. Some of the chaperones reportedly thanked God that they had only given birth to boys...

And another (ahem, male) chaperone told the kids that the red line that tours you through Salem was painted
with the blood of those found guilty of witchcraft.
So, while my kids were away with other parents and families, Robert and I got to work preparing for the church brunch and lunch that would be on Sunday.  We spent the morning setting up chairs and tables in the church basement "cafe", and I even let him help me with the table coverings...a bit.  They were brown butcher paper decorated with words to worship songs written in black Sharpies. (Thank you, Pinterest!) One border needed polka dots, so I let him fill them in. Mike, a college student who was helping us, offered to write on some of the coverings, but I was mean and controlling and refused to let him "help" with that.  I was probably underestimating his poster-sized penmanship and lettering skills, but I happen to have a lot of experience with this from my football-run-through-making days.
Rachel, Isabelle, and Molly putting it all together!
After all the chairs and tables and table coverings were finished, Robert and I went to Whole Foods for a quick lunch outside at a sunny picnic table. Then he went home to polish and practice his sermon, and I took off grocery shopping, which really didn't need to take the four or so hours that it did, but I was also on the hunt for new coffee urns/percolators for church.  Would you believe that Target and WalMart had none?  Millions of Keurigs, no coffee percolators.  I finally made my way to Bed, Bath, and Beyooooooooonnnnnnd (as Tim Hawkins would say), and they had ONE variety, so I bought two.

 I spent the rest of the evening cooking a couple of things that would keep well overnight ~ muffins mostly.  Robert even got in on the action by browning all of the sausage for me.  (Isn't that what ALL pastors do on Saturday night?)  A breakfast taco bar with some side dishes was the plan.  Here's what was on the buffet:

Scrambled eggs
Ground, browned pork sausage
Homefries
Black beans
Cheese, salsa, sour cream
Blueberry Croissant Puffs (reg. and GF) with Blueberry Syrup
Pumkin "Doughnut" Muffins (reg. and G/D free)
Vanilla yogurt with granola (reg. and GF)

Coffee
Hot Apple Cider
Hot Tea
Orange Juice
We were at church by 8am the next morning. While Molly and I worked on the brunch which would be at 10:30am, Isabelle, Rachel, and a few others worked on the lunch which would be at 12:30pm.  It was crazy in the kitchen AND it was raining outside, which meant that the lunch, which was originally planned for outdoors, had to be moved inside.  We hoped two hours would be enough turn-around time to accommodate both crowds, and it ended up working out fine.
 Here's what was on the lunch buffet planned and executed by Isabelle, Austin, and Lois:

Cold Cuts & Sliced Cheese for Sandwiches
Mustard & Mayo
Lettuce, Tomato, and Pickles
Salads of several Varieties
Chips
Pastries, Quick Breads, and Muffins for Dessert
Coffee
Tea
Hot Apple Cider

It was so delicious ~ perfectly fresh and satisfying meal! Yum.
The reason I added "love" to the title of this post is because BOTH of the couples above met as college students and married in our church ~ well, not the actual building, but you get the idea.  Dan and Sarah are old fogies with kids now ~ after meeting as UMass students and through work WAY back in the day.  Dan is a daddy, a high school teacher and now an elder on our Lead Team and Sarah is mommy, elementary school teacher and childcare organizer extraordinaire. The couple in the middle, Austin and Isabelle, who are now our church interns, actually met AT the church lunch cookout two years ago.  We like to play up the fact that you just might meet your future mate at the church "brunch and lunch." Haha!
Austin and Isabelle's wedding rehearsal this summer.
Katie and Ian, below, with baby Tristan and baby-girl-on-the-way met in the UMass marching band, were each baptized in our church and then married by Robert a few years ago (during the Summer of TEN WEDDINGS!).  Ian is a fabulous tutor, writer, preacher/teacher and business meeting moderator, and Katie is a fantastic mommy and childcare volunteer who has also been a great small group leader and member in the past.

Lois, on the far left, has been with on staff at our church for 14 years now (and we've known her for many more than that!), and Cindy has been with us almost that long as our worship leader. Cindy and her husband, Ben, are expecting a baby boy this winter as well.

 The photo above includes an Amherst College student, an adoptive and Young Life Mom, and a table full of "Smithies" ~ girls who attend Smith College, an all women's college in nearby Northampton, and below is a table full of "Mohos" ~ ladies who attend the other all-women's college in our area, Mt. Holyoke.  Being a Christian on those campuses is NOT a favorable identity or an easy path (though "tolerance and diversity" remains the mantra), and so we love it when we can pour into their lives (and tummies) and encourage them in their faith.  They are always an incredibly strong and and sincere bunch.
 Cooper spent the night with Cameron after Club Hope, but he made it back in time for brunch, second service, AND lunch.  Kayla helped me in the kitchen all morning ~ and with the cleaning all afternoon!

Mostly a UMass crowd in this pic!
It was a great day.  I love to feed people and watch them laughing and enjoying fellowship over a meal. I also may have gotten into a cleaning frenzy after all the meal was over, which often happens when I work in the church kitchen which has a strong tendency to get very gross very quickly. But shiny, cleared off counters make me happy, too, so yes, a great day.

Kayla was more than ready to go home, and we finally did around 3pm.  Robert had many hours to go, though.  His men's boot camp started up at 4pm and then he had a sermon debrief gathering at 7pm. He texted me at 8:30 pm and asked me to come pick him up at church, since we'd left him with no car. I had just changed into pajamas, put my feet up, and cracked my seminary books open to study for a quiz due Monday morning. Thankfully it was dark outside, because I just slipped on Kayla's flip flops and left the house dressed for bed. 

Once home, we just gave up and got in bed ~ bodies exhausted, but hearts encouraged by a full yet wonderful weekend.  Hope yours was great, too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the tablecloths!!! Ever think about opening up a restaurant in your spare time? Love, K&J