Play time is an important part of group life. Consider how some of these fun events might be occasions for inviting women’s groups from other local churches, or as special times with women in your congregation who are not part of your regular group. Ideas for recreation are followed by conversation starters. Even groups of women who have known each other for years may benefit from guided sharing times in which they become more deeply acquainted.
Ask a talented chef from within or outside your group to give a lesson on how to prepare a certain food, such as a perfect pie crust, tamales, sushi, noodles, or samosas. Share the fruits of your labor right then, take some home to your families, or share them with your congregation, either as a fundraiser or act of hospitality. Send home the recipe.
Work on family photo albums together, transferring photos out of books that are yellowing and falling apart. Many tips are available on the Web; one site is found at: www.scrapbooks.com.
Watch for reasons and seasons to celebrate—especially of events particular to your members, such as a Finished Quilt party, a Potty Training Success celebration, or a Survivor party after a stressful board meeting.
Sing around the piano.
Choose secret sisters, exchanging inexpensive gifts in designated categories: January—warm, February—smelly, March—green, April—silly, etc.
Learn what makes your fellow group members tick with a personality test like the Myers-Brigg or enneagram. Such tools have their limitations, but they can help you better understand each other, thus making it easier to get along peacefully. Ask your pastor or a mental health counselor for more information.
Share recipes—or hold carry-ins—on a monthly theme: pasta, picnics, pastry, Grandma’s best, etc.
Celebrate the “first fruits” of spring, summer, or fall, using local fresh produce. You might bake pies together, can jams or salsa, or u-pick berries.
Host an indoor picnic on a green carpet during the coldest week of the year. Invite a few plastic ants and put on suntan lotion for that summer smell.
Go on a field trip. Some possibilities: a local museum for a guided tour; the zoo; a farm or greenhouse where flowers are grown commercially; a play or concert; fall trip to orchards and pumpkin patches; a “Messiah” sing-along (perhaps you’ll want to practice some songs ahead of time).
Meet for a hot breakfast in the park, with a walk on a nature trail to follow.
Plan a “hubby” or family night—a chance to meet and spend time together with your spouses and children. Or hire a few babysitters and make it a night out for couples (be sensitive about this option if you have single women in your group; also, talk about how to share childcare costs fairly).