A Welcoming Environment
Setting Up & Taking Down
One of the key values of Dismas Fellowship states “We are committed to being a safe and responsible fellowship with accountability to the church where our meetings are held.” Among other things, this means that the property of the church or facility should be treated with utmost care and respect. One church has remarked about the Dismas group that meets in their building, “They always leave it cleaner than it was!” This is a good testimony for Dismas!
You’ve heard the expression, “Many hands make light work.” That is definitely true at Dismas gatherings. Be sure that you have a crew available to come a bit early to do set up. The kitchen crew, if preparing the meal on the premises may have to come hours ahead of time. And just as you enroll people to help set up, be sure to enlist volunteers to clean up and put everything back as it was. A clean and organized meeting place will ensure longevity and foster growth.
Cooking/Serving The Meal
Gathering At The Tables
The gathering at the tables for the meal is one of the most meaningful opportunities for engagement in an evening at Dismas. At the tables, friendships are formed and relationships strengthened.
Once the meal is over, invite everyone to join in the Circle Time. Not everyone will, but invite them all, nonetheless. If you have prepared them for what to expect and alleviate any fears of public speaking by telling them that there is no obligation, the majority will want to sit in the circle.
The Spiritual Reflection
After the Circle and some goodbyes, it is time to leave. It is time to leave the place just as we found it, clean and orderly.
In some cases, transportation issues will need to be sorted out. Volunteers who drive other members back to their residences should follow protocols set out under insurance and legal obligations.
It is always best to have drivers cleared ahead of time to pick up or take home community members.
Be sure that the stoves are turned off. Check all doors and windows when leaving. Set any alarms as arranged by your host church.
And voila! You have just had another successful evening at Dismas Fellowship!