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Hey Everyone--

It's Thursday Again!

As you know, we are back into our regular Thursday night rhythm this week.  Our first 2 Thursday nights were really great.  Yes, tons of kids (even we were surprised to count 75 kids at dinner-more on that in a moment).  The "positive energy" of these nights is reason enough to keep them thriving.  In the Rite 13 group we have kids representing at least 6 different schools.  That's really something.  And the Alive and Well group has this great influx of new FreshPeople, with a core of Juniors and Seniors too.  It's a pretty healthy and honest mixing of ages and perspectives.

And, as I think you also know, the "magic" of these Thursdays seems just that-magical and mysterious.  Kathie and I work hard to plan ahead, and think about ideas and conversations, while at the same time what we mostly "do" is get the kids to open up their hearts and minds just a bit.  To each other.  To us.  To life.  Even to God.  We only insist that they act "kindly" to one another, and carry that forward into their schools and friendships and families.  Inclusion, being one of the guiding principals at Grace, also guides these gatherings.  No one should be made to feel excluded-for all those obvious reasons.  And we use whatever little opportunities we can to help that happen.  My favorites are music and movies.  You've seen a couple clips we've used lately, and you may be curious to know that we also used two rich scenes from a sleeper of a movie called City Island.  (Yes, we do try to edit carefully, and yet we are not too worried about language in films.)

You Really Can Help!

All this being said, we couldn't do this without the subtle and simple support of parents, and I want to cheer you on and ask for more help!  First, just get those kids to show up.  Try not to ask for too much detail after they show up, except maybe "see any good movies?"  And older kids, who so often get themselves here on their own, are still a vital part of the community-so encourage them to get out the door, even at the last minute.  (Maybe something like: "Sorry, no dinner tonight-if you want food, head to Alive and Well!")  And, we really, really need your help with feeding this eager multitude.  Here's what you can do:

1.       Sign up.  Way in advance.  Here's a link to a new sign up schedule.  Mary Kay sent this earlier this week and we think it will help.  Just register and then you're in the system--providing "gracehappens" as our universal password.  By committing to a certain week you will get connected to other parents.  Or form your own team and sign up together.  And yep: we are likely to need you more than once during the year.  You can also find this link on the Grace website.

2.       And we want bigger groups of parents to sign up each week.  We need cooks-who are undaunted by the frenzied fans!  And, it's easier than it looks with a bigger team.  It also, of course, spreads the cost around.  We know that this can be a costly endeavor . . . so share sign up and share!  8 would be Great!

3.       If you can't cook, sign-up and tell your team you will handle clean-up.  You will be beloved.  It takes some time to get that done, and the cooks can get worn out.

4.       If none of this works for you, throw some cash at us (literally!).  We'll set it aside for pizza on those nights when we are short.

We will be working to keep you informed, and we're collecting great recipes that feed 50 or more, and do so easily.  And yet, help us help you-and the kids.  Part of the overall magic of Thursday nights really is the food.  I am very, very grateful to Mary Kay who manages to cobble together parent teams each week so that Kathie and I can focus on the kids.  I know that she can have a restless Wednesday if we are short for Thursday-so spare her a sleepless night!

As always, many thanks for trusting us with your kids.  We feel lucky that they trust us!  Thanks for reading through all this-we hope the information is worth the effort.



PS  Just  a reminder about Confirmation Information for those interested: check here.  (Yes, sometimes I enjoy hyperlinks just a little too much!)

That's it.  See ya soon.