The days of basket toting welcome committees are as rare as Floridian snowfall. Our culture is increasingly digital and decreasing personal. We can bring warmth to our community, by intentionally making movement towards those around us. Here are a few examples:
Host a Cookie Exchange
Who doesn’t love cookies? This winter, I invited all the lovely ladies of the lane to a holiday cookie exchange. It was a simple fair where I served coffee and cider. Everyone else supplied an appetizer to share and cookies to swap. As a result, several of us met neighbors for the first time. We swapped stories, laughter, and contact information. While typically reserved at Christmas, a cookie exchange is
Host a Book Club or Bible Study
Chances are there are a few people in your community who would be interested in a book club and/or Bible study. This can be women, men only, or a couple’s event. Often times, if someone is willing to host another will volunteer to facilitate the discussion and others can bring a dessert to share. Keep it simple. Store bought snacks are okay.
Join a Book club or Bible Study
Perhaps facilitating a book club or Bible study is not your forte. Ask around to see what is available. Check with the neighbors, area churches, or post a question on social media for studies in your area. When we moved, a friend invited me to her Bible study at a large church in the heart of downtown. Our family does not attend this church, however, the Bible study (and later discovered a book club) is open to anyone. I am able to bring the warmth of the story of God’s faithfulness in my life to this group of women.
Invite friends over for coffee. Bringing warmth and hospitality to our community is as simple as coffee, mugs, and conversation. Warmth comes when we are authentic and invite people into our space—with scuffed walls, stained carpet, and a basket of laundry
Offer to Babysit
If you are a young family, swap babysitting with another couple. When our kids were small we swapped date nights and babysitting with another couple every week. Because all the kids were close in age, they played well and were less work for my husband and me. Meanwhile, our friends enjoyed a date night without the financial burden of paying for childcare and they knew their kids were safe. The next week, we looked forward to our own date night. It was a fabulous arrangement that saved us money and improved our marriage, in addition.
This idea also works if you no longer have little ones at home. You can bring warmth to a young family by delivering a meal or offering to babysit. You can babysit little ones during the day, so mom can grocery shop or fold laundry in peace.
Love on the Single Parent or Military Moms
I recently met two women with toddlers. One woman’s spouse is in the military. The other woman’s spouse travels as a welder to nuclear power plants. Last year he spent only eighty nights at home. As we intentionally strive to bring warmth to our community, we need to remember to make movement towards our single parents and military families.
Let us put a twist on the phrase “global warming” by making intentional counter cultural steps towards others to bring warmth into our communities.