With the dawn of the school year upon us, this may be a great time to start thinking about a larger, more elaborate gathering, allowing the group time to mix and mingle and get used to the “new group”. Try this idea.

Type/Purpose: Event/Activity, Food/Messy, Mixer, Off-Site

Use this activity both as a way to draw excitement from the Olympics, and also as a tool to introduce your group to other members from the church community.

Materials: A variety of food

Ideas for Implementation:

  • Identify different members in your congregation who come from different Ethnic/Cultural backgrounds, and ask them to prepare a dish from their home country/region, etc.
    • When meeting together, ask the preparers to describe a bit about what they made, and give some background to it.
  • Ask members from different Ethnic/Cultural backgrounds to come up with ideas for simple snacks/meal ideas from their region.
    • When the group meets, have different workstations for the participants to learn how to prepare different foods.
  • Ask different members to “Host” various small groups, and have an “Ethnic” progressive dinner.
    • Include an appetizer, two small courses, and dessert.
  • In all scenarios, make sure to have time for discussion at the end, when the large group meets together.

Teachable Moments:

  • Describe what it was like to sample the different foods.
  • Describe what it was like to hear some of the stories from different members.
  • Why or why not might it be important to “branch out” and try different things?
  • How might this apply as we think about this upcoming school year?

First published on the youthESource on August 27, 2012.