By Susanna Parent
Pledge cards. We have all seen them before, but the one that my husband I received at Saint Mark’s was unlike one I had ever been asked to fill out before. During that particular Sunday homily, Father Humberto spoke about stewardship, and asked the Saint Mark’s family to support the parish not only with treasure, but also by supporting parish ministries with prayers and service.
My husband and I, being newly married, had been talking about how we could give more to our parish together, and be more actively engaged. That is when we decided we wanted to participate in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” This dinner was created to build parish community and perhaps even meet some of your own neighbors, and it does so in a very unintimidating way!
After an entire year of being unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts, we were finally able to host this past month. The only thing we needed to do was provide the main course and drinks. Each of our four surprise guests contributed to the rest of the meal, including appetizers, side-dishes, and even dessert! One of the guests was unable to stay for dinner, but she still brought chocolate chip and toffee cookies and joined us for the first hour of conversation over appetizers.
As we welcomed each person into our home, we realized that we recognized two of the four from Mass, but we never knew their names. It was fun to see how some of the guests recognized each other from previous “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” evenings and greeted one another with great joy and enthusiasm. This gives Brad and I hope that maybe the next time we will also find a familiar face.
One of my favorite parts of dinner conversation was hearing from two of our guests who worked in the medical field. Ever since that dinner, per one of the nurse’ recommendation, I rely on Mayo Clinic’s website for my personal health research, and I am grateful for her wisdom shared!
Brad and I definitely look forward to participating in this great program again, and we want to encourage you to consider participating as well! We are all busy, and sometimes it can seem hard to fit another event on the calendar, but I am glad that after twelve months of having to say no, we didn’t give up on trying and were finally able to host.
The very next day after having Saint Mark’s parishioners over for dinner, we saw one of our guests just a few pews in front of us at Sunday Mass and were able to greet her by name. I’m excited to see who we’ll meet next, who knows, it might be YOU!