Love, Laughter, and Fellowship

Love, Laughter, and Fellowship

Written By Cathie Smith

Love, Laughter, and Fellowship

Thank you to Pastor Kevin James who also contributed to this article.

Navigating ministry and relationships post-COVID is not for the faint of heart.  As meeting in person and gathering in large groups became more difficult and the time between gatherings extended, the disconnect in many relationships grew. Some churches are still struggling to re-gather, while others are beginning to experience growth and renewed relationships.

New Creation Bible Fellowship Church (NCBF) in Tracy, CA, led by Pastor Kevin James, is one of those churches seeing renewed connections and relationships. This church creatively approached their disconnect of relationships and decided to host a Women’s Brunch using an evangelism grant they received from the California Southern Baptist Convention. According to James, the brunch was a component of their church’s overall Count the Cost Strategy and the first phase in resuming their New Creation Women’s Ministry.

It was vital to those involved in the event planning that intentionality in building relationships be a key objective throughout the planning process.

“… {One} of the focuses of the [NCBF] Women’s Brunch was to create an environment that would foster friendship, sisterhood, and a sense of family, through fun, fellowship, and laughter. I find that one of the best ways of doing this is with food and games . . . When Sister Kenyatte and I were planning the event, the question of ‘how well do we really know one another?’ came up.  Even though I have been coming to NCBF for a long time I felt like I really did not know anyone, and they really didn’t know me. A lot of times we get caught up in the routine of church, but we forget to take the time to actually get to know each other. So, one of the things that we wanted to do was be intentional in our focus in order to get to know one another.“  – Torrie Grady, Event Planner

The event, held at Garre Vineyard in Livermore, CA, also included a raffle and a very animated game of the “Price is Right!”  You can feel the excitement as Grady describes the event, “Boy did these ladies give it their all. From jumping up and down to shouting down the aisle….”   

While having a great time with great food, the ladies also enjoyed genuine interaction and relationship building. Love, laughter, and fellowship became common themes shared by many of the women who were in attendance, proving that the goal of fostering connections was achieved.

“At the women’s brunch, I had an awesome time fellowshipping and getting to know other women. …This was a great way to meet and connect with women who can mentor and give godly counsel and insight. I can’t wait until the next women’s event.” –  Attendee Anitra Thomas

“The NCBF Women’s Brunch …. was a wonderful and delightful event. It was elegant, fun, interactive and inclusive. As a new member of the church, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the activities, the food, and the fellowship. I felt very welcomed and at home with all the ladies. NCBF is definitely a place where the unloved and unchurched feel loved, at home, and welcomed. Thank you, First Lady and Pastor, for your inclusive and genuine love!” – Attendee Valerie Hardy

“The Women’s Brunch was filled with love, laughter and unforgettable fellowship. It started with prayer, “sister share,” and “getting to know you” activities.  Then we rewarded and gifted one another with Christian Bible study books and various other self-care gifts.”  – Kenyatte Parker, Event Planner

The day ended with a time for the ladies to share, resulting in expressions of enjoyment and a desire for even more events in the future. Grady stated, “I feel like the goal of getting to know the ladies better was achieved and I was truly blessed by the fellowship and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the women’s ministry.”

About the Author

Cathie Smith
Women's Ministry Director, CSBC

Cathie holds a bachelor’s degree in family development from Oklahoma Baptist University, and a master of divinity and doctor of educational ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For 10 years, Cathie and her husband served primarily in Spain with the International Mission Board, however, Cathie’s international missions service also includes Ecuador, Japan and Guatemala. She is the mother of 3 children, (2 grown and 1 still at home) and she serves as the Women's Ministry Director for CSBC.

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