Dear Friends,

I’ve always tried to deliver content in this newsletter and through my social media, that is true to our mission and your expectations. The mission of Effortless Entertaining is to inspire and equip others to entertain easily and graciously in our homes.

Even amid the COVID pandemic, I’ve hoped to encourage our followers to look forward to when we can invite others into our homes again. Last week I also encouraged you to extend gracious hospitality among “ourselves,”  to the people that you’ve been “sheltering in place” with.

This week, in light of the terrible tragedy and the realization of the work we must do as a people, and as a nation, I want to take us one step further and consider hospitality that stretches us. Many of you are aware of the group that Sonja and Richard Nichols and Ed and I started. Making Your People My People, to bring diverse relationships from our community into our homes. We wanted more than the diverse relationships we often experience in committees, boards, and schools. We wanted deeper friendships. You may have read about this group in last fall’s Southpark Magazine. If you missed it, you can read the story here.

Our group got off to a great start — having dinner every few months and deeper friendships were forming. Last fall – if you were following me — you know that I did 18 EE events. Guess what … I dropped the ball with Making Your People My People. Something that had been so important and meaningful got lost in the shuffle of my busy schedule. Shame on me! Sonja and I were trying to find a date for our group to get together right when COVID put a stop to our efforts. This week’s events have inspired me to rededicate ourselves to this group and bringing us back together again. Even if we can’t all be together at the same time, maybe we can gather in smaller groups.

I’d like to encourage you to consider a diverse group to gather around your table. Relationships change when we are in one another’s home; when we go beyond our committee and community work. Maya Angelou said that when we invite someone to sit at our table, we are inviting them into our lives. Even with COVID, we can do this. Ed and I are just starting to invite friends for dinner — just one couple, maybe two. Small groups, social distancing, still being cautious and safe.

Will gathering around the table with people of different ethnicities solve all that needs to be solved? Will it fix the systemic issues we must address? No, but it is an important step in listening and learning; in knowing others and understanding where they’ve been and who they are now.

Relationships formed around our tables will inspire and inform the work we do in our communities.

From our home to yours,

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