Thanks to Debbie B. for today’s post!
The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a great time to get together with others in you ecclesia for a night of fun and fellowship. Most of us will have the first day of the year off of work so the eve before the New Year is perfect for a night out. (On the other hand if you have lots of families with little children maybe you would opt for New Years day instead. ) Regardless of day or night it is a wonderful opportunity to open your home to those who may be lonely or not have family around during the holidays.
Over the years we have done a number of things together with our ecclesial family on New Years Eve but whatever it may be it always tends to have three components: Food, Fellowship and Fun! So what goes in to putting on a great evening enjoyed by all?
Location: Depending on the invite list, whether it is the whole ecclesia or a select group, the ecclesial hall or your home are great places to host. We have done both and love the home option where children can be put to sleep on the floor in different rooms and parents are given the opportunity to enjoy time together late into the evening.
Food: Have everyone bring their favorite appetizer to contribute to the table. You can be formal about this or not. Sometimes we ask for specifics – sweet or savoury so that you get a combination of both and other times it has just worked well to ask people to bring whatever they want but enough to feed ____ many people.
The Night: We like to eat first, then we do the final three readings of the day with one brother in charge of the reading of the chapter as well as the comments and questions for the kids. A really fun way to get everyone thinking of the last readings of the year and the first readings of the new year is to play Bible Jeopardy! Create a chart on a white board that looks like this:
Divide the group into two or three teams. The team then chooses the category (listed across the top) and the point value (the numbers) for the question they wish to answer. A right answer scores the point value of the question. Once the question is answered the play moves to the next team. Try and involve all team members in answering the questions. Keep score of the points for right answers for a little friendly competition between the teams. The questions that we used can be downloaded here or feel free to make up your own!
There are lots of other activities to fill the evening. We put out board games and puzzles and have a very relaxed evening of conversation and games. A nice way to end the “formal” section of the evening is to sing a few hymns and offer closing prayer of thanksgiving as one year ends and another begins. Then those with little ones or the elders who need their rest tend to head home while the young and young at heart stay late into the night, or early into the new morning enjoying each others company!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”