December 16th, 2014
For Herron Morton group, City Suppers was business as usual
We hosted a City Supper for 26 friends on November 9, 2014 and, for our family, it seemed like a normal Sunday night. For the past five or six years, our family has been a part of a Sunday Night Dinner group in Herron Morton Place neighborhood. Each Sunday, one of the eight families in the group does the good work of hosting and preparing the meal for the rest of the group. The rest of the group just shows up for the meal and enjoys the community. In this way, we rotate through our schedule of 8 families so that each only hosts once every couple of months. The beautiful benefit of our pattern is that we gather weekly, over a meal – kids and all – and catch up with each other and deepen our community. It is not a closed community, though; the host family gets to invite as many extra guests as they wish, so new people are constantly introduced to the group. But our 8 families are a steady, sweet constant.
I was so “part of the moment” with our City Supper, that I forgot to snap pictures until the very end. Here is Ruben, hanging out (literally) with our son, Leo.
At our City Supper, we hosted different families and a slew of kids that we know from our 3 block stretch of New Jersey Street. I had done the inviting before I got my full set of “instructions” from the City Gallery, which included a deck of conversation starting cards called All IN provided by Indiana Humanities. The card deck includes ways of challenging, informing and connecting people to each other as it pertains to the State of Indiana. With people leaning against walls, kids racing through, and never only one conversation dominating the evening, we were unable to take advantage of All IN. But I’m certain that we achieved a goal of City Suppers: we connected with our neighbors. I love living in our neighborhood because it was never a stretch for me to invite these families into our home. I watch each of them from my own porch as they walk past on a summer evening to the neighborhood park. We follow each other, walking, biking or scootering, to the neighborhood elementary school. We routinely rub shoulders with each other taking care of this neighborhood and supporting this little section of downtown. Having a meal together fits perfectly into the routine of neighborly life. City Suppers are a good, good thing.