The ministry of welcoming and hospitality is particularly important on Sanibel, which hosts tourists year-round, has many winter-only residents, and frequently becomes a new home for retirees from “Up North”. A fellowship gathering follows each weekend service; wine and cheese on Saturday evenings and coffee hours on Sundays provide opportunities for us to greet each other and to welcome island visitors and new or returning residents to our church community.
Potluck suppers, which follow lay-led worship services on the first Wednesday of each month, are a popular and well-attended Saint Michael’s activity throughout the year. Hosted by four to six people, some of the suppers have seasonal themes, such as the summer indoor “picnics” and the December Christmas dinner. A favorite evening is the “Brats and Beer” supper in the fall. Following the blessing, visitors are introduced, and dining with “new” people is encouraged. Many attendees – regulars and newcomers – assist with putting away tables or washing dishes. Leftover items, such as cookies or cake, may appear the next day at coffee break for volunteers at Noah’s Ark.
Lent is preceded by the well-attended Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper organized and hosted by the men of the parish. During Lent, potluck suppers are suspended.
The Parish Life Ministry is responsible for organizing these fellowship activities, including identifying hosts, providing supplies, maintaining the kitchen, and assisting as needed. Short announcements about fellowship activities appear in the monthly Red Door.