How Do We Love Our Community?

How Do We Love Our Community - I've discovered that for me, building a bench - a regular date and time to get together with others - is essential to community - Read more at the link
A few years ago Emily at Chatting at the Sky and her sister, The Nester, posted a series of posts on creating opportunities to get together in community and form friendships. They called it building a bench. I heard about that series of posts at this year’s (in)RL life conference in April. In a video, a bunch of different women from all over the place talked about how much the bench concept had changed their lives.

So today finally – after months of thinking about bench building, mind you – I actually read the posts. They’re good. Like, really good.

Let’s read them together…

Chatting at the Sky – The Bench

Nesting Place – On Friendships Part 2: Build an Automatic Bench (Part 1 is good, too! I shared that on our FB page yesterday.)

Two years ago, before the hubster and I were married, we hosted a monthly dinner and a movie night at my apartment. We watched a different Harry Potter movie each month counting down to the last Harry Potter movie, which we planned to see together in theaters. Each month we’d pick a different food theme: Potter and potatoes, Potter and paninis, Potter and pasta, Potter and pizza, etc. We asked people to RSVP and bring one ingredient toward the meal. Then we cooked a bunch of food together and watched a movie.

It was awesome. Some of our best friendships were formed.

We’ve been dying to host a monthly dinner and a movie series ever since, but somehow all of the busy lives in our group of friends have gotten in the way. There have been multiple weddings and vacations and new jobs and new apartments and the last two summers passed by without a single dinner and a movie series.

I’ve discovered that for me, building a bench – a regular date and time to get together with others – is essential to community. As we’re talking about God’s best in our communities this week, one of the things I want the most is to build another bench for my people to gather on. And maybe some new people, too.

It’ll probably be another dinner and a movie series, because there are few things that people like more than food and movies and sitting on the couch (easy interaction = yay!). But the hubster and I also have fantasies of forming a monthly cooking club and other fun activities.

What about you guys? What’s your favorite way to get together with others? What would you do if you were involved in a monthly get together of some kind?

Follow along with 31 Days to More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess with the outline at the bottom of this post or click the button below.

31 Days to More of God's Best

The Intro Stuff

What Does More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess Mean?
How to Get Involved
Where Does the Best Come From?
Free 8×10 Scripture Art Printable of 1 John 4:4b
Guest Post: More of God’s Best in My Life (Krystle)
A Dose of Hope and  Preview of What’s to Come

God’s Best in Your Life

Why Does Loving Yourself Matter?
How Do We Love Ourselves Best?
Eight Things for More of the Best in Your Life
Free 4×6 Scripture Art Printable of John 3:30

God’s Best in Our Families

The Best for Our Families: Why Loving Our People Matters
How to Share God’s Best at Home
Seeing the Beauty in the Undone
Six Things for Loving Our People Well
Dose of Hope: Philippians 2:3-4

God’s Best in Our Community

Why Loving our Community Matters
We Were Made for More

Original photo of Bench Along Limberlost Trail Shenandoah National Park Virginia by Dave Herman (dherman1145) from flickrcreativecommons. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.

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4 comments

  1. I love this!
    I’ve found Harry to be a great community builder as well 🙂
    I’m starting into a new group, trying to build a bench as well, and trembling a little. It seems exciting and wonderful and I’m praying all through it.
    But benches are also scary. We don’t want them to tip.
    Thanks for the nudges friend. Wish I could come by and say “I’m Ron by the way, Ron Weasley,” “I’m Harry, Harry Potter.” 🙂

    Like

  2. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA this month and haven’t been able to join in the discussion for your 31 days’ posts. I just want you to know that I read all of them (about two-thirds of them in the last hour or so!) and am taking to heart everything you are sharing.

    I wanted to jump in here and say YES, having a regularly scheduled time for getting together with people is so important in our hectic lives. One of my best friends and I have a standing date on Monday afternoons–we meet up at a coffee shop halfway between our houses and spend a few hours sipping drinks, working on our projects (knitting, crochet, sewing, etc.) and just sharing what’s been happening in our lives in the past week and what we’re feeling and needing in the wake of what’s happening. Working on projects and sharing hot drinks (or cold in the summer, but that’s a short season around here!) is one of my favorite ways to spend time with people. I think we have to learn that community, and connecting with other people, is just as important as any other thing on our “must do” list. But if we don’t schedule it in, the other “must do’s” (like work) tend to take over.

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    1. I love that idea of a standing Monday afternoon tea and crafting date!

      “I think we have to learn that community, and connecting with other people, is just as important as any other thing on our “must do” list. But if we don’t schedule it in, the other “must do’s” (like work) tend to take over.” <– amen.

      Like

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