Festive Fellowship

I love this time of year. The crisp air, yellowing leafs, thick scarves, oversized sweaters and peanut brittle. Above all the holiday season is my favorite time of year because Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all smushed into under three months. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Last week Mike and I hosted our second annual Pumpkin Party at the Parsonage (alliteration intended). It’s a fun get together with friends and church family. We usually host a small group Bible study on Sunday evenings, but carving pumpkins while stuffing your face with sweets instead is always welcomed once a year.

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Speaking of sweets, this year I tried a new fall-inspired Chex mix that I would HIGHLY recommend. It takes five minutes to whip up and will feed a crowd. Scroll to the bottom to find the recipe (after you finish reading of course :))! Just because I can’t help but share, these cupcakes were made by my friend Christy. If you are ever in the Kopperl, Texas area, you should order some cupcakes from her – she is a cupcake mastermind (thanks, Christy!).

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Our party is based around a carving contest with a panel of non-conflict-of-interest judges. Pumpkins are due at dark, we light them up with tea candles and the judging panel debates while others roast s’mores by a fire. The winner receives something worth fighting for – this year was an Academy gift card, fitting for a community full of hunters!

The PPP is followed by blowing up our pumpkins the next Sunday! Usually by this point the pumpkins are rotten and Halloween is over, so instead of chunking them in the trash, we stuff them with Tannerite and shoot guns at them until they explode. It’s quite entertaining (even for the girls)…something I would never have thought of myself! This video doesn’t do the explosions justice and I apologize for the poor iPhone-in-the-night quality, but to give you a frame of reference, take a look (by the way…that’s my hottie-stud-of-a-husband in the video).

Note: The red beam is from a pistol you can’t see.

Church community events still to come this holiday season include our church’s Thanksgiving meal, a community wide Thanksgiving service, Christmas dinner and more. I can’t wait!

While church hosts many fun events throughout the year, the community and fellowship that comes with the holiday season holds a special place in my heart. It’s a time for relationships to shape and form and mold into a deeper connection. I am very involved in my church and I always have been since I was little. Growing up in the home of a pastor and now being a pastor’s wife, it’s somewhat inevitable, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

My church is my family that walks with me through everyday life.  For Christians, Christian community is crucial – to worship in the company of others, to fellowship with one another and lift one another up in our walks with Christ.  The Bible gives us many reasons why we should be in community. Here are a few:

  1. Fellowship: Community with others. We aren’t meant to go through life alone.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (NIV)

  1. Encouragement: Everyone needs to be lifted up. Check out Andi’s post from last week for more insight!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

  1. Accountability: It’s nice to have others lovingly keep us on the straight and narrow.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 NIV

“So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.’” Luke 17:3 (NIV)

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)

  1. Helping each other in times of need: One thing church is about is sacrificing for those in need. No one is left behind.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

Christian community is important. We each have a role, we each have a job, and we each need fellowship with one another.

 “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)

If you are not involved with a church community, I encourage you to seek it out. I’ve had to move churches several times in my life due to life circumstances such as moving away to college, career transitions, getting married etc. I understand it can be hard to break into a new group of people, but those first few steps on your part will be rewarding in the end. The connections made will grow deeper as time goes on.

Below is the promised recipe for my fall inspired Chex mix:

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Fall Chex Mix

Ingredients:

1 bag of pretzels (I used pumpkin and bat shaped pretzels)

1 19 oz bag of Reese’s Pieces (I used m&m’s because Walmart was out of Reese’s Pieces)

1 box of Honey Nut Chex

1 24 oz bag of white-chocolate chips (I used more like ¾ of the bag)

2 7.5 oz boxes of caramel popcorn (I used Crunch n’ Munch)

Instructions: Dump all ingredients together in a large pot. Gently mix. Serve in small cups or bowls.

 

Now it’s your turn! We want to know what types of fun community events your church puts on? What are your favorites and why? Do you have any yummy party recipes you wouldn’t mind sharing with us? Please comment below!