Our first Intentional Gatherings dinner took place last weekend and it stirred up a few questions. I thought I would address them here in case others had similar questions regarding IF:Table and Intentional Gatherings.
What is the difference between the IF:Table dinners you host and the Intentional Gatherings dinners?
I have been hosting a monthly dinner for almost two years now as part of THIS amazing movement. I invite 5-7 women over each month and we are provided with four questions to discuss each month. When we first began meeting the women were strangers to each other, many barely known to me as well. The table is made up of woman of different ages and backgrounds. And while IF:Table has Christian roots, you do not need to be a Christian (or even affiliated with church for that matter) to attend. Many of the questions open up faith-based conversations and everyone is asked to respect the differences/perspectives of others at the table. I prepare dinner for the women, we visit, and they go home. It is simple and beautiful.
Intentional Gatherings was inspired by IF:Table in many ways, especially in regards the social aspect (building connections, holding each other accountable & going deeper). In addition to the social aspect, Intentional Gatherings is also a tool for better living and inspiration for entertaining with purpose; I am creating a handbook of recipes and lessons to be released in 6-month chunks. The first in the series (Intentional Gatherings: Living a Full & Satisfying Life) will be available later this year. The intent of the series is two-fold:
1. To provide instruction similar to a class or workshop using a monthly digital lesson in conjunction with my weekly Living with Intention blog posts. The materials are meant to help you live a life of purpose and intention.
2. To provide ideas (along with written materials) to women wanting to also host purpose-filled gatherings in their own homes. The materials may be shared with others [free-of-charge] at self-hosted dinners. While Intentional Gatherings is being offered to my clients as a workshop (thus the $25 fee), those who receive digital content with the monthly dinner registration or purchase the series when it becomes available will receive written permission to use the materials to host their own purpose-filled gatherings.
I have created the Intentional Gatherings content to reach a broader base of women, making it easier to create bridges in your community for the purpose of bringing a diverse group together.
Is faith-based content part of Intentional Gatherings?
Jesus is the source of my inspiration and I owe all that I have and am to him. That being said, I am extremely sensitive to those who do not feel the same way. My faith is the driving force behind living with intention so avoiding the topic would be impossible. It will be laced throughout the series but done so in a way that honors and respects everyone.
Do the same women attend the monthly dinners?
Monthly attendance is not a requirement for either IF:Table or the Intentional Gatherings dinners. Our IF:Table group has remained fairly consistent with the same ladies attending each month. If someone has a conflict one month but plans on returning the next, I will extend an invitation to another woman in their absence. If a person can no longer attend, their spot will be offered to someone else. I expect Intentional Gatherings dinners hosted in your home to operate much the same way. Faces around the table may change from month-to-month because there is no long-term commitment required for those attending.
The Intentional Gatherings dinners that take in my home right now look a little different because they are in essence a workshop that includes registration and a fee. This gives everyone the opportunity to experience the table gathering firsthand, to connect with other women, to receive inspiration and encouragement, and to see what putting Intentional Gatherings into action in your own home might look like.
Are there any other differences?
The Intentional Gatherings dinners hosted in my home include monthly recipes, lessons, resources, and related DIY projects. [Those who register and attend the monthly dinner receive the content as a PDF with permission to use in their own homes free-of-charge. That monthly content (and more) will be compiled into a series available for purchase later this year; those who attend 2 or more Intentional Gatherings dinners in 2016 will receive Volume 1 of the series without any additional charge.] The weekly blog posts provide further content designed to help each woman make the most everyday life.
IF:Table, on the other hand, bring women together each month to discuss four questions designed to open the door to conversations of faith to encourage growth and connection.
If you have any other questions about IF:Table or Intentional Gatherings, let me know and I will add them to this post!