Sunday, December 20, 2009


Tonight was the first gathering of "Connections" a new initiative in our church for young adults age 21-40. No, we don't fit into that category, but Jim and I have been asked to help as hosts for the group. We hope to reach some folks who may not be connected to a Sunday School class, and want the opportunity to share faith and fellowship with others in a relaxed setting.

Tonight we met at the home of David and Susie Ricke, and as is tradition during this season, we were greeted by Santa himself waving from the front window.

The beautifully decorated tree added to the warm holiday atmosphere, and we enjoyed the welcome we received from the Rickes.

Even Sophie did her part to make each guest feel welcome. She also did her part to keep the floor free from crumbs.

Since we were part of the host group for the evening, we thought Jon and Adam would be happy to join us. Oh, were they ever happy!

Dawn, Bev, and Susie made up part of the "older" group who will be hosting each month.

I noticed the Pioneer Woman's cookbook in the kitchen area, and asked if Susie had been trying her recipes. I have been reading the Pioneer Woman's blog for a couple of years now, and the famous Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings recipe is one of hers. I learned that David Ricke is a friend of hers, and has been visiting their ranch for years. I had no idea! So cool!

Of course, Susie isn't the one that tries the recipes, but Chef David does. In fact, he told me that his recipes might have been included in the cookbook, but Ree (Pioneer Woman) wanted to include only recipes that could be prepared in an ordinary kitchen. Since David most frequently cooks on a ginormous cooker on wheels, his world famous culinary creations did not qualify. He did manage to appear in one of the photographs in the book, and I am very honored to know him, and thrilled to know someone who knows the famous Pioneer Woman. I repeat, so cool!

And, true to form, David was busy at the stove keeping a close eye on the spaghetti sauce.

We had the opportunity to spend some time visiting before dinner. We learned that congratulations are in order to the newly engaged Nicole and Jeremy. They will be married in June.

Host David spent some time visiting with Keith and Melody.

David was in character, inviting the guests to "come and get it."

Susie is caught mid-sentence. How unusual!

Josh and Erica enjoy one of David's stories. He is quite entertaining.
Jimmy welcomed the group and allowed us the opportunity to introduce ourselves. We were happy to meet Mary Beth who came from Bloomington to join Jimmy for the party. Jimmy blessed the meal, and we filled our plates with delicious spaghetti, salad, and bread.

A lovely assortment of cookies for dessert. I think Susie had been baking all day! Not!

Jonathan and David sharing stories at the table.

We finished the evening with some time for discussion about direction and desires for this group. The "younger folks" had the opportunity to share what they would like from the group, and what would make them want to come back. The next gathering will be in January at the home of Bev and Larry. We hope that "Connections" will allow for the opportunity to connect, build relationships, and grow spiritually.

P.S. Jonathan managed to snag my camera before the end of the evening, and got a rare photo of yours truly. Silly boy.

No comments: