August 10th, 2017

Whenever we do memorial services, we offer the family a reception in the Fellowship Hall. More and more this relaxed time for greeting and condolences takes the place of formal visitation in people homes or at a funeral parlor. Offering hospitality is central to living the gospel, and being cared for the by the Church in time of loss is especially meaningful.

The responsibility for pulling receptions together falls under Congregational Care, which maintains several teams of two who rotate the responsibility for organizing receptions. Just now the number of teams has dwindled, creating a need for at least two more teams—or one team of two and one person who can pair with Deb Call, a veteran of organizing these events.

All that is required to recruit folks to bring food on the day of the reception: cheese plates, crackers, cookies, brownies, fruit, nuts, vegie trays and other finger foods along with ingredients for punch. Some team leaders use technology such as Sign up Genius to organize the event. Others just get on the phone or send emails to make sure a variety of plates will be supplied. Whatever the method, people love to respond to concrete needs, and there is never a dearth of offerings. Sexton Viola Howery will set up tables with a few days’ notice. Team leaders then get to church early enough on the day to lay clothes and place items, and do clean up or make sure it’s been assigned.

The only other requirement is flexibility. Death does not happen according to anyone’s plans or schedule, although generally funeral and memorial services take place on weekends when family members are able to travel. Families and I together estimate how many people might attend, and Sherry Ingham is ever ready to provide help. If you think being on a reception team might be a way for you to give to BPC and its people, let the Church Office know. Peace, Catherine

Scripture Reading: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33.