Lectureship weekend at Western has just ended. We had a smaller crowd than usual because there were so many farmers still getting their crops in. However, the Lectureship itself was excellent. The theme was "Reclaiming Social Justice" and the guest speaker was Dr. Ken Greene from Texas. It took me awhile to be able to understand him clearly because of the accent (I had to listen with both ears), but he had a series of powerful messages. I really appreciated the class sessions, however. There were three different class times, and each time we had a choice of three classes - and they all sounded so interesting, it was hard to decide where to go. However, they were all thought provoking, and hopefully, action demanding as well.
One of the highlights of Lectureship, for me anyway, was Thanksgiving dinner. I hosted it and invited all and sundry to come. (Go to the highways and byways and compell them to come in). I'm not sure just how many we actually ended up with here, but I'm pretty sure it was between 45 and 50 people. We had a really joyful time, eating and sharing together. Towards the end of the crowd we had run out of potatoes, turnips and veggies, but I pulled out a pan of lasagne from the fridge and we continued on.
Daryl had those of us in the living room (about 35+) share, if we were comfortable, with an example of a powerful answer to prayer. And the sharing was wonderful. We sang a little bit together, and prayed together and ate together, and the whole thing was great.
I have to say that doing a turkey dinner is one of the easiest ways to host a large crowd that I can think of. I started the turkey the night before and roasted it from frozen (Ruth taught me to do that, and I have to say, it certainly makes it very easy). When I got up in the morning I peeled potatoes (I did my dutch oven full, and I maybe should have done two pots full), pulled out a bag of frozen veg's to dump into a pot, and put two boxes of stuffing with water, etc, into the slow cooker. That was it for meal preparation. When I got home after service, (and I did skip out on the last 15 minutes or so), I started the potatoes and vegetables, and Rose and I finished tidying up. Rose had come home after communion (she was having trouble with the fresh paint fumes in the building), and had done a large part of the cleaning up already.
If I was doing this again, I'd splurge for a proper roasting pan. I used the large square open roasting pan that came with the oven, and while the turkey fit in it, all the juices didn't and they ran out of the oven and down the cupboard and over the floor. I ended up washing the kitchen floor three times before everyone arrived.
I am so thankful to have a house that I'm able to host such a large gathering in. We had over 30 people sitting and eating in the living room, and there was room for all. The kids sat around the table to eat and after they ate they played with the Wii and other toys in the family room. I think I need to tap shoulders to get some more toys for when I have large gatherings, but we all managed. I am also very thankful to my nephew, David, who did a large part of the inviting of people. That's one area where being an introvert like I am isn't helpful - and I'm so thankful that he was able to invite so many people to come. I'm also very thankful to Rose, who even though she worked all afternoon and all day the day before, came home from church and worked straight through cleaning up and tidying up. I am so blessed to have my kids here this year.