Expectations for Serving
To do this we ask that the food not be put on the table till the final blessing song of worship. Please leave the food in catering cases or on the ground under the tables. We do this so that we can focus on worship and then the meal. If the food is set up earlier, people will begin to form a line during worship. It’s okay for there to be a bit of lag time between the end of worship and the start of dinner.
Also, please refrain from standing behind the serving tables during the worship service. There is a natural inclination to get a jump start on setting up, but we ask that you please leave everything as is until the service is completely finished.
To keep anxiety low, and to help make a more integrated community, we invite members from CITN to help serve food each week. This means that not all of the members from your community may be able to serve food. Some groups serve in shifts, so that everyone has a chance to serve food.
remember this may be someone’s first meal of the day
please take time to say hello to each person who comes through the line, keeping your voice and tone low to keep anxiety from growing in the line.
We will have a member of CITN be the greeter at the start of the line, welcoming people and offering them their plate, utensils, or to-go containers. This will free some of your members to have dinner and conversation.
This is a community meal, so we encourage you to eat! If people see that you’re not eating, it creates an “us and them” mentality. One easy and fun way to break this down is for us all to eat together.
Please make sure that anyone handling food is wearing gloves. Also, remember that the gloves are to protect the food, so if you touch your hair, face, nose, garbage, even food trays, etc while wearing gloves, please throw those gloves away and put on a new pair.
To eliminate waste and to foster a community atmosphere, we will be keeping to-go containers inside until everyone has gone through once. Please refer to the first person in line to know when it is time to bring out the to-go containers. Someone may tell you that they are in a hurry to catch a bus. Unfortunately, our policy remains the same to keep it fair, so please politely ask this person to wait.
There is often a lot of confusion and frustration around seconds. Firstly, please know that is CITN staff and community responsibility to monitor seconds. People are welcome to seconds, thirds, even tenths, once everyone has had a chance to eat. Usually we wait for the line to die down, so that all the people who lined up initially have gone through at least one. This applies to sandwiches, too.
Our leadership team and interns are available to introduce you to members and facilitate conversations.
We ask that you bring a generous amount of food. When serving there can be stress over having enough food for everyone. Some members take meals to go for friends and family who could not make it to the meal – this is fine and welcomed. We have our service and meal on Sundays not because it’s the day of worship but because there are no community meals on Sunday.
Snacks While Waiting
You may want to bring granola bars, PB cracker packets, etc to hand out while people are waiting. It’s a great way to meet people and create a welcoming environment while people are waiting.
We hope you will bring a contribution to worship. It can be a prayer, music, spiritual reflection, skit, ritual or other element, which is special to your community. Please contact Pastor Steph by the preceding Wednesday with what you are planning to offer at worship so we can find an appropriate place in the order of worship. She can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-575-0845.