By Rev. Rick King
Many of you saw the photos on our Facebook pages of our small band of four FHCers who staffed a table at the July 22 Falcon Heights Ice Cream Social. We engaged some folks, including those sitting at their own tables under the same tent. But we felt good for having done it when the two hours were over.
When I started “tabling” at events with my last church in Colorado, like many others I thought we were doing it to get the word out on the street about our church so we’d have more visitors. Promotion—that’s what I thought we were doing.
But over several years of doing this, I’ve realized that the church people get at least as much, if not more, back from the interactions with attendees. We have significant conversations, we sometimes pass out “church swag,” and often we get some valuable information from the people we talk to. Cor Wilson, our moderator, found a prospective speaker for Adult First Hour, a couple who spent part of the COVID year teaching in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
And we got even more than that.
We got the neurochemical infusion that comes from positive interactions with others; we practiced being curious and asking people about their opinions, insights, and their lives; and we practiced talking about our church with people who don’t necessarily know anything about FHC, or in some cases, that we exist at all.
Getting out of our building is something we had to do when it closed due to the pandemic; getting into public spaces to figure out how to be church outside our building is a valuable learning experience for all of us.
The ice cream social is not the last event we’ll “table” at.