Women Together I :: Themes for Banquets, Teas and Retreats

Theme Ideas

Bloom Where You Are Planted (mother/daughter)

Speaker: Honoring mothers and encouraging contentment (Phil. 4:11).
Decorations: White tablecloths with flowers everywhere. Place on each table a flower pot filled with pens—use florist tape to attach a silk flower to each one. Have paper available for notetaking or games.
Refreshments: Fill new terra cotta pots with chocolate mousse covered with crushed Oreos; garnish with gummy worms and artificial flowers.
Activity: Make floral wreaths.

Pattern for Living (mother/daughter)

Speaker: Scriptural patterns for living, such as “binding” (“Forsake not your mother’s teaching; bind them upon your heart always”) or “lip zipper” (“Let no evil talk come out of your mouth”).
Invitations/posters/programs: Design to look like patterns. Use “mother-daughter” pattern envelopes (check thrift stores) to hold invitations, printing “Pattern For Living” down the side with the date as the pattern number in the upper right corner. In the upper left write “one size fits all.”
Decorations: Scissors, spools of thread, and other sewing equipment.

Wild, Wild West with a Wild, Wild God (mother/young daughters)

Speaker: Job 38-39.
Invitations: Suggest western-style dress. Stuff envelopes with straw.
Decorations: Cowboy hats, bandanas, straw bales, sunflowers.
Refreshments: Barbecue ribs or chicken, beans, and coleslaw.
Activity: Meet in late evening and enjoy singing around a campfire (with s’mores to follow). This could be an overnight adventure (with tents or just sleeping bags under the stars) for mothers and young daughters.

A Celebration of Generations or Memory Café (mother/daughter)

Speaker: Deuteronomy 6:7, Proverbs 6:21, Matthew 1:1-16.
Decorations: Antiques brought by group members who serve as hostesses for each table; have them share the stories of these items at a set time.
Activity: Have a fashion show of old clothes, perhaps old wedding gowns, using several generations of models.

Hats a Mother Wears or Hats Off to Mom! (mother/daughter)

Speaker: Colossians 3:12-17. How can we serve God no matter which “hat” we’re currently wearing? Possible visual aids: baby bonnet, construction worker’s hard hat, accountant’s visor, fire fighter’s helmet, dunce cap.
Decorations: Showcase the many outfits of a mother by stapling the clothes to the wall (i.e., a nurse’s dress/cap; a business suit/dress hat; jeans/taxi driver’s hat, umpire’s shirt/baseball cap).
Activity: Give prizes in different categories (most colorful, funniest, oldest, biggest, classiest) for the hats participants wear.
Variations: Mad Hatter Tea Party on the Alice in Wonderland theme (bad table manners required); decorate with playing cards and chess pieces. Or a British High Tea, with a lesson on preparing a proper pot of tea. Serve scones, cucumber sandwiches, and tea in china cups. Wear hats and gloves.

Fear Not—Finding Your Ministry (retreat or banquet)

Speaker: Exploring our gifts and the fears that could keep us from using them in God’s service. Possible scriptures: Psalm 91, 1 Corinthians 13, and the stories of biblical women who encountered angels.
Decorations: Angel ornaments collected from group members, with white Christmas lights. Welcome each person by giving her an angel pin to wear.
Refreshments: Angel food cake with a choice of toppings.
Activity: Personality or skills assessment tests, revealing what may be hidden or unused strengths.

Spring Up, O Women! or Women, Arise! (spring retreat or banquet)

Speaker: How we can become “crocus-minded,” aimed at growth and reflecting God’s light amidst times of struggle and darkness. Option: Invite a panel of women to share stories of ordinary heroines, women who pushed up against the odds. Or focus on healing and growth.
Decorations: Crocus colors of purple, yellow, and white. Have bulbs on the tables to give to all participants.
Activities: On paper flowers—enough so that each person at the table receives one from every other participant—have the women write the ways that they receive encouragement (verbal praise, notes, etc.); share these amongst the group as reminders to build each other up. Send the flowers home in clay pots decorated by participants.

Fruits of the Spirit (retreat or banquet)

Speaker: Galatians 5:22-23.
Invitations: Solicit donations of canned fruit for a local food pantry.
Decorations/refreshments: Create centerpieces of fresh fruit and greens. Include on each table a small cutting board and knives; later bring out fruit dips, cheese trays, and quick breads.
Activity: Give each woman a custom designed seed packet, with a card inside where she can write down the spiritual seeds she wants to sow. Suggest that participants use the packet as a bookmark to remind them of what they want to sow and to pray for a great harvest.

Hooked on God’s Love (retreat or banquet)

Speaker: What opens your eyes to the reality of God’s activity in the world? What can give you the jitters, when it comes to sharing God’s love?
Invitations: Make from coffee filters. Slip in a few fragrant coffee beans.
Decorations/refreshments: Coffee colors. Offer door prizes of flavored creamers and gift certificates to local coffeeshops. Serve coffee cake.
Activity: Ask each woman to bring a clean mug with a note inside stating her name (have a few mugs on hand for those who forget). Exchange mugs during an icebreaker and drink from them during the event. Send the mugs home as a reminder to pray for the person who gave it.

In the Garden (retreat or workshop)

Speaker: Herbs of the Bible and how they’re used, with readings of scriptural references to balm, bay, hyssop, mint, mustard seed, etc.
Decorations: Potted herbs, gardening tools, gloves, watering cans; seed packets may go at each place.
Refreshments: A festive salad garnished with edible (organically grown) flowers, served in individual ceramic pots. Freeze small edible blossoms in ice cubes to serve with lemonade or iced tea.
Activity: Invite someone from a nursery to do a hands-on session on growing herbs, asking participants in advance to bring the tools they’ll need. Small kitchen gardens could be planted to sell.

More special event themes

Wellness—Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical (Mark 5:25-34): Give wellness kits in drawstring bags to all participants.
She Considers a Field (Prov. 31:16): Women and finances, estate planning. Speakers available from Mennonite Mutual Aid at (219) 533-9511.

Called Me By Name: Tell stories of our names, what they mean, how they were chosen. Wear giant name tags. Bless each person by name.

‘Artrageous’ Women (Exod. 15:20-21, Psalm 150): Praise God through artistry of many forms—visual arts, music, dance, writing.

His Eye is on the Sparrow: Go for a walk in the woods and present talks/slides about birds.

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