I thought we could have a little summer fun by inviting you to take part in a contest. It has to do with a new initiative we’re working on for the 2023-24 church year which will be a rebooted version of Friday Supper. Let me explain what I'm thinking.
Last year, we tried a new large gathering event, the Community Worship Service, which people have responded to very positively, so we plan to continue offering it. This year, I'd like to offer a mid-sized gathering event for this church community and I’m thinking that a rebooted Friday Supper might work well. Back in the day, Friday Supper was a popular gathering event for this church community, including the Academy. It involved two important components: food (breaking bread together) and doctrinal class (discussion of topics related to the church - see TCR 433ff). This offering had a long run but eventually ran out of steam. My guess is that the format no longer worked for people, but the use has remained valid.
I think you'd agree with me that the format needs to be different (we live in different times) and I don't think we should offer it every Friday (or even necessarily on a Friday for that matter) knowing how busy people are, especially families with children in clubs, sports, etc. Like the Community Worship Service, I want this to be a special event, something that people, young and old, look forward to and put on their calendars, which means not too frequently and strategically placed in the church and school calendar where it isn’t competing against other big events. It will also involve quite a bit of planning with a fair amount of volunteer and staff support.
I don't image a full supper like the old days but something more like coffee and dessert or heavy hors d'oeuvres followed by a guest speaker, a General Church minister or teacher at the Academy, presenting a New Church topic that's informative and thought-provoking. I imagine there being a formal presentation portion to the event but also an opportunity for audience questions and discussion. I’ll be working with Malcolm this summer to think this through, but hopefully this gives you a bit of an idea of where I’m hoping to go with this.
This is where you come in: what should we call it? My office staff has come up with “Friday Supper 2.0” and “SwedTalk” (a play on TEDtalk). Do you have a better name? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and any other thoughts you have about this plan, and we’ll see what we come up with.