Here are some ways you can brew up some friendships through hosting a tea:
- Think about people you could invite to your tea. Consider who you would like to get to know better, and who might currently need some encouragement. Pray about your guest list. Remember that you can invite as few or as many people as you'd like.
- Brainstorm some innovative ideas for your tea, then pray about them, asking God to let you know how you can design your event to best bless the people on your guest list. Think of the tea experience as a gift to each person who will attend.
- Choose a theme for your tea, then plan your menu and decorations around it. Be creative!
- During the tea, allow ample time for each person to talk. Ask each other questions, share some laughs, and actively listen to each other. Then consider what simple acts of kindness you might perform for each other sometime after the tea or during another tea planned especially to help a particular person out. You might also want to assign each other the name of another person attending the tea so that you all can be secret partners, buying and delivering gifts anonymously for each other.
- Some ideas for teas that can help you reach out to others with kindness are: a tea to welcome a new neighbor (all who attend can present the new neighbor with a housewarming gift and a map of the area on which their houses and other important places are marked), a tea to honor teachers (each person can bring along a teacher and use the time to describe how that teacher has blessed him or her), a tea to encourage someone who is housebound due to illness or injury (others can set up the tea at the person's house, then give the person gifts such as ready-to-eat meals and stationary and postage to keep in touch with family and friends), and a tea in which everyone present creates a useful craft together to use in their homes afterward.
Adapted from When Friends Gather for Tea: Pouring Out Love with Tea and Kindness, copyright 2002 by Sandy Lynam Clough. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Look for this book in your local store or click on the link below to buy it online.
Sandy Lynam Clough has founded a tea society to encourage people to form local chapters, hosting teas in their own neighborhoods. To join Sandy's Tea Society, visit www.sandysteasociety.com or write to P.O. Box 85, Powder Springs, Ga. 30127-0085.
What do you enjoy the most about participating in a tea? How have you been able to build friendships with others who enjoy tea with you? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.