What is Dinner for Eight?
Dinner for Eight is a great way to meet folks from church that you may not already know. It’s also a good way to get to know your church family better. Groups plan their own meals and get together for three consecutive months. You share meals at participants’ homes, at local restaurants, the church or wherever the group decides. The emphasis is on fun and fellowship, so you don't have to be a gourmet cook to participate.
How does a Dinner for Eight Group work?
Simply fill out the online registration form or fill out a form at the church and turn in at the welcome or information center. Once groups are formed, a Group Coordinator will contact members to arrange the details for the first gathering. Dinner groups are encouraged to be creative in the meals they enjoy together.
What does a Group Coordinator do?
The Group Coordinator is the point person, and contacts group members to select the location and food sign-ups for your gatherings. This is someone with a gift for administration and hospitality. The GC will facilitate group meetings via email and be the main contact for all group members. This person is chosen from current Eastridge members who have a heart for events and administration.
Who makes the food?
If you do the group in a home, it's potluck! Usually the host will make the main dish, and other participants will bring coordinating sides or desserts. Potluck dinners are also a good way to simplify meal planning and distribute costs equally among everyone in the group. Consider picking a dinner "theme night" (i.e. Italian night, backyard barbeque, soup night, breakfast for dinner, etc.), and everyone can bring a dish that goes along with that theme. Some groups may also choose to visit local restaurants or other venues.
I want to participate, but I don't have room to host a dinner, or I really can't cook, or I'm on a budget and can't eat out all the time!
Our desire is for you to spend time together getting to know each other and include everyone. Your group may choose to repeat a host home or eat out, keeping people's budgets in mind. If finding a host home is difficult, your group is welcome to schedule dinner at the church. We want everyone to feel that they can participate.
I have children, can they be included in Dinner for Eight?
You bet! We'd love for all groups to have a variety of ages and stages. We believe there are benefits that come with having multi-generational experiences collaborating and we welcome everyone to participate. D8 groups will have the freedom to decide if and how kids are incorporated into dinnertime, depending on your preferences.
What happens after our last gathering?
Hopefully, you will have had a rewarding experience and look forward to similar experiences at Eastridge. After the last gathering, you may decide to sign up for another round of Dinner for Eight with a different group of folks or your group may wish to stay intact and continue as a small group. If you choose to stay together as a small group, the Director of Community Life and the Life Group Shepherd Leaders can provide resources to help you add elements of study and service to your group and to continue to deepen the fellowship you have already established.