By Vera Burton, World Outreach Chair at Community Christian Church, North Canton, Ohio
Last fall our Outreach Committee reviewed our commitments to the community and the world and confirmed that we would make a concentrated effort to complete our Circle of Compassion commitment early this year. Our Pastor, Rev. Sarah Taylor Peck, shared with us that she had been involved in Five Star Dinners. So, we planned a dinner for Saturday, January 10, 2015.
A five Star Dinner is based on emulating the atmosphere and ambiance of a Five Star restaurant. We planned to set very elegant tables but serve a minimal meal. A meal similar to what a vast majority of the world eats daily. Our hosts would invite friends to sit at their tables and consider making a donation similar to what they would spend for dinner at an upscale restaurant.
We invited members of the congregation to set these elegant tables using their fine china, crystal and silverware. Once we were able to explain the concept, we received responses supporting the setting of ten tables of eight.
In addition to the dinner, we added a silent auction with donated paintings, photographs, crocheted scarves, pottery and even a chocolate basket. We invited a speaker from our regional food bank. Also, we had a pianist who played before dinner music.
On Saturday morning, our table hosts began arriving with their boxes, baskets, silver chests, center pieces, dinner napkins charger plates and decorations for their tables. From this array of supplies arose ten elegant tables with multiple themes.
Our minimal meal consisted of five courses starting with a deviled egg "amuse-bouche", a small salad, soup, and a main course of beans and rice. Our youth were servers. Each host provided an elegant dessert.
Our speaker focused on "food insecurity" and our attendees generously donated. The results of our meal and the auction totaled $4000, enough to complete our Circle of Compassion commitment.
We dined in elegance on beans and rice but generously gave so that others in a less fortunate world may have provisions. Thanks be to God!