It’s Time for ‘Food With Friends’!

By Rev. Lynn Bartlow

One of the essential tasks of the Implementation Team has been to help form a community as two congregations merged into one church. As we wrestled with how to do that, we knew we needed to provide opportunities for conversation and getting to know each other. We decided to revive a model of community called Food With Friends or Dinner for Eight or Tables of Eight. In this program, you get together with people and eat. That’s it! You are grouped with people that you might not even know and you eat together for several months in a row. It could be at a home or in a restaurant; the important thing is to get together around the table.

One friend of mine used to define family as the people whom you share significant events with. We claim that our church is a family, so let’s share the intimate activity of eating together. When we eat together, we stop, we sit down, and we look across the table at people we know or sometimes we don’t know. We share food, we share conversation, we share our lives for just a few minutes. We are family.

Would you consider signing up to get to know others in our congregational family? The details are below or reach out if you have questions we didn’t answer. Don’t wait too long! It’s a short sign-up window so we can get started with our dinners. I hope you’ll be open to making new friends with others from our community.

See you soon.
Pastor Lynn

Using a similar concept to our old “Dinner for 8” program, Food With Friends launches in October, with registration already under way and running through Sunday, Sept. 17. Group assignments of 6-8 people will be made by Sept. 24, and dinners should be scheduled between October and December, with a final meeting no later than Dec. 10.

Each group is encouraged to meet one to two times per month, with participants taking turns serving as hosts. The group will create its own schedule for who hosts and on what dates.

Food is flexible! Groups can choose to meet in each other’s home or at a restaurant. A host may plan a main meal at their home and have participants bring sides and/or dessert.

It’s a great way to meet and get to know your fellow church family, or catch up with those you already know! Register at

• 8:30 and 10 a.m. Traditional service in Magee Campus sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
• 10 a.m. Modern service at Sanctuary Campus
• 10 a.m. Magee Campus youth and children’s Sunday School (except fifth Sundays) and child care
• 10 a.m. Traditional service livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

Worship online at 10 a.m. on Sundays at or YouTube UMC St. Mark’s AZ. You can also watch the service at a later time.