Lately Scott and I made a resolution to gather with friends, family and food around the table more. We love hosting dinner parties and having opportunities to share meals and conversations with loved ones, and both have felt called by God to spend more time and effort using our home— and our table— to love others well. As things always go when you are called by the Lord to do something, opportunities to practice and perfect the art of gathering around the table have popped up more frequently. This weekend was no exception! We were so excited to join West Elm Dallas’ location for a dinner party put together in partnership with Neighbor’s Table.
Everyone was asked to bring a dish that had a story with it and meet at West Elm at 6pm last night. Good food, story telling, new friends all in one of my favorite stores of all time? Sounded like a total win. Which, of course, it was! We sat with more than 20 new friends at an amazing 27 foot long table in the middle of the store- check out how incredible it looked! Crystal Knox Style did the entire tablescape- it was just amazing! Check out her other work at her site, here.
Doesn’t it remind you of one of those incredible, rustic, vintage Pinterest-y type weddings? I wanted to take every single centerpiece home with me!
After we spent some time mingling and meeting people, Sarah, who is the founder of Neighbor’s Table, went around the room and introduced everyone. I was so impressed! She remembered pretty much everyone’s name and was able to tell a brief story about each of us. She said a blessing over the food and we all got to dig in and eat.
The food was absolutely amazing. More than that though, the conversation was wonderful! We met and talked with so many people from so many walks in life. During the meal we got an opportunity to get up and share our story about our food. I loved hearing all the stories people shared and all the memories they entrusted us with.
After we grabbed dessert, Sarah shared about her mission behind Neighbor’s Table. It is such a cool concept and is a mission I can totally get behind! She wanted to build community in her neighborhood, and asked her dad to build her a table for the grassy knoll outside her house. He did and she invited her neighbors over via a flyer on their doors- 91 people showed up! She set a goal to have 500 people dine at her table- and she met her goal. She did the same in 2013, and this year decided to dream even bigger. Her father is now building tables for purchase and she is starting a Neighbor’s Table revolution!
Can you all just imagine it? Neighbors no longer being just the lady you wave to, or the man you hide from when your front lawn is looking a little wild. Knowing the name of the lady across the street, or the story of the guy you see walking daily down your street. I love it.
After Sarah talked, I told her that I felt like Scott and I were truly supposed to be there at the Neighbor’s Table tonight. Both Scott and I feel even more affirmed in our calling to love people around the table and we both made some wonderful new friends that we are looking forward to keeping in contact with. What started as a group of strangers left as a group of friends.
At Sarah’s table at home, she has her guests sign the top of her table. Since we couldn’t really do that we instead signed a roll of craft paper for her to take.
I’m already looking forward to our next dinner party and looking for opportunities to grab our neighbors and invite them to sit at the table. For more information on what Sarah is doing and Neighbor’s Table, check out her Facebook page here. Of course, our gracious host, West Elm Dallas can be found on Facebook as well- here. If you are local, go in and say hi! You will meet the incredible staff and probably want to buy the entire store.
So what do you guys think? Are dinner parties making a comeback over the coffee date? I think so—at least in our house.