Posts filed under ‘Hospitality’

How Ice Cream is Like Church

#NationalIceCreamDay – Ice cream and church do go together. … In full disclosure, ice cream was eaten in the making of this advertisement.

“Ice cream brings people together.” ~ Doug Ducey

“Summer would not be summer without Ice-cream. Ice-cream is the favorite currency of love.” ~ Puck

“Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” ~ Jerry Greenfield

We had all kinds of ice cream: Fudgsicles, Firecrackers, Magnums, ice cream sandwiches, It’s It, cups of vanilla and swirl, and Outshine fruit bars to name a few.

#NationalIceCreamDay is on the calendar once a year. For 2017, July 16th is that day. Since that day is a Sunday, CNC celebrated National Ice Cream Day. Why?

  • It brings people together.
  • It is fun.
  • It is cool. (Pun intended.)
  • It really IS A currency of love. (I grew up in a home where food = love.)

I love that we encouraged people to bring a box of their favourite ice cream TO CHURCH. I like that we encouraged folks to take photos and post them on social media with the appropriate hash tag. And I believe that celebrating ice cream is like celebrating church.

  • Church brings people together.
  • Church is cool.
  • People have an emotional response to church. (Love is just one response.)
  • Church is more than a building or a body of people. It is a place full of God’s presence.

This daddy-daughter duo is cool as they celebrate this National Day.

Church and ice cream have other similarities. Going to church, like eating ice cream, can be a bad experience because . . .

  • The people or ingredients could be rotten.
  • The experience of either/both didn’t meet expectations.
  • There is a bad fit.
  • Someone is just not in the mood for the ice cream or church.

And to that last remark I say a resounding, “Hogwash!” I am always in the mood for ice cream (either Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia). And I am always in the mood for church. Well to be more precise, I am always in the mood to savour God’s Presence.

When we are consistently not in the mood to go to church, let’s PRAY and talk with someone. When our church experience tastes rotten, doesn’t fit our expectations, or isn’t a good fit, let’s PRAY and talk with someone, someone wise. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Although church is filled with people who are imperfect (like me) and who do selfish things (like me), church can still be a positive, uplifting, loving time with God and the people there.

You can eat ice cream in the sanctuary, Rudat Hall, or even in the kitchen.

There are so many GREAT churches in my area. There are a lot of great churches in your area, too. Have you prayed about what to look for in a church? Read 5 Reasons I Love My Church.

And I am adding a 6th reason I love my church. We do silly, fun, connecting things like celebrating National Ice Cream Day.

Next year, come join us! Or better yet, celebrate church with us every Sunday. Join us because it is inclusive, cool, loving and a place FULL of God’s Presence.

Messy is a good look when it come to “ice cream” messy.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?
  • What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  • In your opinion, how are ice cream and church alike?
  • What are some favourite things about your church?
  • And if your name is Becky, come to CNC this Sunday.
  • Amanda, thanks for this “messy” photo.

Advice from Jerry Greenfield (co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s  Homemade Holdings, Inc..

“You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream. We do not consider a pint or a tub of ice cream to be a single serving.”

This is advice I may or may not take.

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Join CNC Meals Ministry Today: Simple to Help, Rewards are Huge

Eating is a basic need we all have. It’s  preferable if the food can be tasty, healthy, and consumed on a regular basis. Sometimes life interferes and it’s difficult to cook. These times include death, birth, illness and surgery.

CNC has a meals ministry for such times. The meals ministry is not just about providing a meal. It’s also about showing the recipients that we care.

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.” Norman Kolpas

If this is a ministry you’d like to be a part of, click on the following link: Meals_Ministry pdf. Print out the form and return it to church.

Cook a meal and deliver it. It’s that simple. But the recipients are hugely grateful!

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Give These 3 Things for a Successful Trip: It doesn’t take much to make a difference


In July 2009 I spent about 2 weeks teaching English and being helpful to the international workers who housed and fed us. I’ve had some time to reflect on my journey. I’d like to share three things I’ve learned from my trip.

  1. It doesn’t take a lot of talent or skill to make a difference. Our main work was talking to the students. Most of us were quite capable of speaking well in our native tongue. We listened to our students. Again this is something that was managed easily. Lastly we showed them affection, compassion and care as the situations arose. We treated all people with dignity. None of these behaviors needed a lot of talent or skill to do well. And yet, the exercise of these behaviors yielded great gain. I.e. One student recently said that until attending classes at the learning center, he hated all Americans. But through the ministry of compassion, listening, and dignity a blinding stereotype was eradicated. That has worldwide as well as spiritual implications!
  2. It doesn’t take a lot of time or words to make a difference. The time we spent with individual workers was limited.  And yet, by their own admission, we made an emotional and relational difference because of the time, prayers, and thoughts we shared with them. Our very presence let them know that we placed a high value on them as individuals and as co-laborers.
  3. It doesn’t take a lot of donations to make a difference. As you might remember we posted a list of needed items in the CrossRoads and bulletin. We requested such things as aspirin, multi-vitamins, baby clothes, thank you cards, granola bars and chocolate chips. Your response overwhelmed us (“carrier pigeons”) because it was so generous. The workers were surprised and touched as well by your response. Individually we wouldn’t have made such an impact. But together? Together our individual donations made a huge impact and difference.

 As a side note, it was cool to be able to be a “carrier pigeon” and see/experience the delight and warmth of the workers as they realized what and how much you all gave. One of the workers expressed wonderment that people she didn’t know cared enough to send items (gifts) and she recognized that for some this was a sacrificial gift.

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Favorite Quote from Yesterday’s Hospitality Class

“Christian hospitality is a matter of obedience to God.”

(I will give the proper attribution once I find out who said that.)

What do you think?

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Hospitality Goofs and Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hospitality Homework for last week was to invite someone over for a meal.

Tuesday night my guest showed up along with the torrential rain that has inundated northern California.

Problem – I thought our meal was for Thursday and I was in the midst of writing two papers due for Wednesday. One of the papers was on communication! Good thing my prof didn’t know that in reality I flunked that test.

Afterwards I thought about how I could’ve handled it better. My house was astrew with books, papers and projects. Not much food of the healthy kind was available. But I could’ve taken us to a nearby restaurant, since I needed to eat as well.

On Sunday we finally had a meal together: Chicken Tortilla Soup, oranges, Best Ever Muffins (which weren’t) and water. No salad because the fixings were yuck. Despite all this, we had a tasty meal and fun time.

My guest even asked for the soup recipe; which could be renamed as dump soup. So here it is as given to me by Lori.

Dump the following in a soup pan and heat until warm:

  • 1 can (12.5 oz) chunk chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of black beans (pinto beans are NOT a good substitute)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of kernel corn
  • 2 can s(15 oz. each) of chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa (canned tomatoes with seasoning are NOT a good substitute)

Serve over tortillas and top with shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, and olives.

If you have more time, money and a sensitive palate you could try this version that tastes like it came from Applebee’s. Truth be told, I prefer the one that tastes like it came from Lori’s.

What are some of your hospitality goofs? Favorite dump meals?

P.S. A good dump cake recipe is here. Read the 7th comment for the actual recipe.

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4 Week Hospitality Group Format

Sunday nights I attend a hospitality group with (9-18) adults and scads of kids. This 4 week small group, led by John & Shula, will help us to understand and then to better implement hospiality in our own spheres of influence.

We start out with a potluck dinner and lots of talking.

  • John then leads in a lecture/discussion on some aspect of hospitality.
  • The evening progresses to dessert, coffee, and more talk.
  • Sometimes we have homework assignments to fulfill during the week.
  • When we get to the lecture/discussion portion of the evening, the kiddos and a babysitter go to another room and have some fun more suited to their ages.

I am attending this group for 4 reasons . . .

  1.  To get me back into the entertaining/hospitality mode . . . .  In July of 2006 I felt like hospitality had taken a backseat far too long. Read here for more. Despite some valiant attempts (here, here and here) I didn’t get past the writing stage. John & Shula are great examples of showing hospitality. Nothing like learning this from the “masters.”
  2. To eat a meal with people . . . .  As a single I eat most of my meals alone. The exceptions are my evening seminary classes and when my nieces/sista invite me over.
  3. To get to know others better .. . . You can’t get to know others on Sunday mornings at church  – too much going on.
  4. To observe group communication for a paper I have to write . . . . This observation has made me sensitive to what is working well in this group. And there is plenty.

Eventual Outcome of Group

The typical Dinners for 6 has been suggested. But an even better idea was suggested.

Form a Sunday hospitality group – Couples, singles and families would sign up (maybe once a quarter) to invite others to share the Sunday afternoon meal with them after Church. This could be at a restaurant, park or at the host’s home. Really the ideas are endless.

We are just at the beginning stages of brainstorming and it is exciting. It is also exciting to “work” with John, Shula and their kids in this hospitality experiment at CNC.

 What do you think? Any ideas? Suggestions? What’s worked at your church?

Note: It is Jan. 4, 2010. This group is not currently in operation.

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Passover Seder Opportunities at CNC

Passover is Tuesday, April 3rd. Obviously it is a very important holiday for the Jews. It  also has high significance for Christians as well.  Would you like to know why? Celebrate its beauty? 

We are collecting a list of host homes who would be open to offering this celebration to our CNC family. Each host home can choose the night (first week in April) that best suits them.

  • If interested, please let me know. Tell me which night and how many people you can invite.

  • If you are interested in leading or attending, please let me know that as well.

More information will be in upcoming bulletins and on this blog.

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Menu Plan Monday Single Style

Help! I have got to get “family-style” cooking out of my head. I’ve learned that for some food, I just don’t want lots of leftovers. So over the weekend I searched high (on the internet) and low (actual books) for recipes for one or two people.

Below is my menu. Some of the recipes* are below. Some recipes I’ll post after I’ve tried them or give you an update. For more Menu ideas check out I’m An Organizing Junkie

  • Monday: Baked potato with beans, broccoli, ham, and cheese; green salad
  • Tuesday: Crockpot chicken* and applesauce.
  • Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs (meatballs are frozen from several weeks ago); salad.
  • Thursday: Minestrone soup and biscuits for two. (I’ll let you know how this turns out.)
  • Friday: Shepherds Pie
  • Satuday: Chicken and Veggies in a foil packet.*
  • Sunday: Leftovers.


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Women’s Open House – Sunday, January 21st

10:45 a.m., during the second service in Room 4.

This will be a chance for us to visit with one another.
Coffee, tea, juice and bagels will be served along with our conversation.

Call Susan if you’d like to help or have any questions,

Don’t you think this could be fun?!!

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“Starter” Is One Ingredient In Building Community

Something’s growing at CNC.

It’s easy to create.
It’s bubbling with life.
And it’s meant to be shared.

It’s Friendship Bread. Also known as Amish Friendship Bread and Herman bread.

According to Wikipedia, Amish Friendship Bread, “is the chain letter of the baking world [or like zucchini from summer gardens]. The idea is very simple: a friend gives you a cup of yeast culture (also known as “starter”) and a copy of instructions. Following the instructions, you add sugar, flour and milk and it rises.”

“Eventually, you end up with 4 cups of the starter. You use one to make bread, keep one to start a new cycle and give two to your friends. Each of your friends also gets a copy of the instructions for what to do with the yeast starter. The latter part makes it somewhat like a chain letter.”

The idea is simple: use some, keep some and give some away. A recipe like this can quickly get out-of-hand and that’s what Women’s Ministry is proposing. In fact, let’s see how out of hand we can get. And how quickly we can do it.

Pass it on
Do you think it’s possible for every woman of the church to receive starter? All those on the mailing list? Wouldn’t this be a fun way to connect with others? An unusual way to build community? Let’s see if we can pass it on to all the Family by the end of October.

“Hello, my name is Susan. It’s good to see you at church today. I’d like to give you a little something. It’s a Friendship muffin, (aha, you didn’t know you could make muffins with it, did you?), a bag of starter and a recipe to make your own muffins or loaf of bread.”“When you’ve made your bread, you can give your friends a sample and the starter that made it! Then your friends can make their own and pass it along to their friends. This is why the bread is called “friendship bread”.[1]

But wait, something else is growing at CNC.

It’s a cookbook. Women’s Ministry is collecting recipes for an all-church cookbook.

So while you’re passing out samples and starter, how about passing out reminders to submit recipes (need them by August 15) and reserve a copy of the cookbook. Hardcopy forms are on the Secret Sister bookshelf; an electronic form can be received by e-mailing

Be sure to grow and pass on the starter you receive. Even better yet, why don’t you start your own chain? The recipe for the starter and bread is in a separate post. When you’ve passed it on, please let me know by commenting here or click on Cookbook and comment on the post titled – Friendship Bread – Pass It On.

Let’s see how long it does take us to pass it on to all the CNC community.

Maybe at CNC we could call it Community Bread. ‘Cuz that’s what we’re doing with our sharing – building community. That’s what we’re doing with our cookbook – building community. That’s what Pastor will be preaching on – building community.

Why? Because Community Matters in the short-haul, long-haul and in Eternity.


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Implementing Hospitality – Part 1

Hospitality has been the theme of my life lately. Words, advice, situations, Bible reading, and stories I come across all seem to relate to this theme. So I did some intentional internet research and found an article by Richard Krekcir that deals with Implementing Hospitality.

For the whole article go to In Thy Word Website. Type in hospitality in the Search for _________ on this Website button. Click Go. You will see 33 hits. It is the first article. Sorry, despite four tries, I wasn’t able to link directly to the article.

I will divide this article into smaller parts. I will post successive parts after I’ve digested the previous one. Please share your comments and learning with me as we go along.

Part 1

Key Passages on Hospitality are below.

The links are to and include the verses in three translations: NIV, Amplified and NLT. While there you can also click on the commnetary link to get more information.

Matthew 25: 34-43

Luke 10:30-37

Acts 4:32

Romans 12:13

I Timothy 5:10

Hebrews 13:2

I Peter 4:7-11These are the verses that started my hospitality journey.

3 John 1:5-8

I look forward to seeing what you learn.

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How Messy Is Too Messy or When Is It Clean Enough To Have Folks Over?

“To be honest I’ve got over the ‘house isn’t tidy’ … I think it’s linked to pride … and recently the battle between the need to see friends has won over the house pride curse,” said See-through faith on comment #8 for the post Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches.

I can see how pride can be a deterrent to hospitality. Maybe this is part of the Martha mentality.

But when is messy too messy to have people over?

On one hand, When my home gets to a certain level of “lived in” and someone comes over, I am embarrassed that I let the house get so bad. I am definitely distracted. Maybe this is pride.

On the other hand, if I pop over to someone else’s home and it’s lived in, that doesn’t bother me.

And if I may borrow another hand, there is a neighbor, Jo, I used to visit* often in the late afternoon. Her home was always picked up and it was restful to be there.** Because it was tidy I didn’t feel like I was intruding or coming at a bad time. Jo made me feel like I was the most important thing on her to-do list.

Maybe that’s part of the definition of hospitality.

I’ve always wanted to have that kind of home. I’ve always wanted to give my guests that kind of special attention.

As you can see I have too many hands and not much of a conclusion.

What is your take on the messy/tidy/pride issue? How do you feel towards it as the hostess? As the guest?

* This was when I lived in a small village in England.
** Jo and I had children of similar ages and it really was restful. I wonder if Jo remembers it that way?

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