I don’t think my little apartment kitchen knows what hit it last Saturday. The day started bright and early preparing food, setting up tables, cutting flowers, dancing in the kitchen, taste testing everything (of course), and ended with 14 of the sweetest souls, of all abilities, sharing a meal. Sitting at the table with my friends, I really didn’t have any words to express the joy that was overflowing in me. Watching the dream of hosting a Between the Pine gathering unfold right before my eyes brought on all the emotions.
Two weeks ago while sitting over coffee and Four Ingredient Hash, Drew asked me what my next goal was for Between the Pine. I explained to him my dream of having a gathering and bringing people together over a shared meal. I told him all the details of how this gathering would come together but made up all the excuses for why it couldn’t happen now. Our apartment is too small, we don’t have enough tables and chairs, we don’t have enough plates, the lighting is bad. Really, I thought of all the excuses in the book for this one. But being the best friend and husband Drew is, after my long list of excuses he looked at me with a smile and simply said “so why again can’t it happen now?”
So here is a summary of the details and the ins-ands-outs of how the Genesis Gathering was pulled off. It all started with inviting people into our home. Neighbors, works friends, community group friends, and Young Life friends were those who filled the seats Saturday night. From there, I created a rough “to-do” list to help me remember all the details. I contacted our church to borrow tables and chairs, ordered extra tablecloths and plates from Amazon, and looked at some of my favorite blogs for recipes and inspiration to create the menu.
Homemade Meatballs and Red Sauce- The Modern Proper
Homemade Basil & Garlic Pasta- The Broken Bread
Dinner Rolls- The Stay at Home Chef
Whipped Garlic Basil Butter- Between the Pine
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad- Between the Pine
Little Victories Cake- Between the Pine
The Little details
Since some of our guests did not know each other, I created conversation starters so we could all get to know each other a little more.
For flowers, I used babies breath and eucalyptus because they are simple yet beautiful. I decided to not do any larger arrangements of flowers so everyone could see friends throughout the entire table.
I went with assigned seating so everyone would have a seat and know they were intentionally thought about.
I made sure to have zip lock bags on hand for leftovers to be taken home in!
Finally, I thought of a name. For me, this is just the beginning, so that’s how the name Genesis Gathering came to be.
There were cakes, homemade pasta, rolls, flowers, place settings, but more than anything, there were friends who took the time to come. There was intentional conversation of getting to know one another a little deeper and laughter throughout the whole night. I really wish I could put all my feelings about this into words, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. I hope this gives you a glimpse into the Genesis Gathering but more than anything, I hope it inspires you to host a gathering of your own.