A new season of Circle Suppers will begin in October with the traditional dinners for adults and a second “circle” of suppers for families who would like to bring their children. Circle Suppers are a great way to socialize and meet new members and friends outside of church. Participants gather in small groups and share a meal together in one another’s homes. They are held once a month from October through May, except for December. Newcomers are always welcome!

At Circle Suppers, a “host” is designated for each date and provides the main course. “Guests” bring appetizers, desserts, salads, beverages, etc. Hosts coordinate with their guests at least one week prior to the supper date. Traditional adult-centered suppers usually begin at 7 p.m. Family Circle Suppers have a suggested start time of 5 p.m. On average, participants host twice over the course of the season.

The dates for the upcoming season are October 11, November 6, January 10, February 7, March 7, April 11, May 9. Sign up for as many or as few suppers as your schedule permits. If you are unsure of your schedule, you may also sign up as an alternate and be called by hosts on short notice.

If you would like to participate, there is a form that collects the details needed for scheduling. It is located on the church website under “Happenings.” The key information needed is how many guests can you host in your home, how many people in your party when you are a guest, and the dates you are available. The form can be obtained at church, on the website, or via email from Allison Jones at 781-793-9085 or Allison.Jones5@verizon.net.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How many dinners do I have to host per year?A: On average, there are 4 groups meeting per dinner, and one of them is host. So you will end up hosting about every fourth dinner, in some cases only 3 dinners apart. Note that this applies whether you are actually signed up as available for the intervening dinners or not. There are seven dinners per year.Q: If I can’t make a dinner, what should I do?A: Call the host and apologize as soon as you know. This gives them a chance to get an alternate.Q: If I am a host, and I can’t do the dinner on the scheduled date, what should I do?A: Call the guests as soon as you know, and try to move the date to a following Saturday. There is no reason that the dinner has to occur on the scheduled date, but advance notice is necessary for everyone to reschedule.Q: This is my first time hosting, what should I do?A: A week or two before the dinner, call each guest and remind them they are expected and discuss what they should bring, special diets, etc.Q: This is my first time being a guest, what should I do?A: If your host doesn’t call you by a week before, call them and discuss what you should bring.Q: Why am I hosting fewer guests than I signed up for?A: This happens when the guest capacity and the number of available guests doesn’t match. We strive to ensure no dinner has less than 6 people, and that each dinner is within 2 of its capacity.
But this is impossible to guarantee while maintaining the other goals. Please feel free to call the alternates if you want more people!Q: Why am I hosting more guests than I signed up for?A: Either you wrote down more than you thought, or we made an error entering it. Please call and let us know.Q: How long before I go to a particular host’s house?A: This is a function of the number of participants. It is a secondary priority of the scheduler to place guests into dinners where they have been least recently. With the current number of participants, the average time between visits to the same host should be more than 3 years.Q: Why does it seem like I see the same people often?A: It probably just seems that way. It does happen, but it shouldn’t be often. The top priority of the scheduler is to fairly distribute hosting. Then, getting people to houses where they have least recently visited, and finally, bringing people together who haven’t met recently (at least at a scheduled dinner). Sometimes when a bunch of never-met matches are present, some “didn’t I see you last time?” matches are also present. This tends to happen to new people. It is impossible to meet all of the goals simultaneously, and keeping you away from those you recently met just isn’t a high priority!

Special Considerations for Family Circle Suppers:

For the host:

  • How many people (adults and children) can your home accommodate? Being realistic about this number will help make the evening more enjoyable.
  • Do you need to set time parameters for the dinner in advance? For example, should the Family Circle Supper in your home run from 5 to 7 p.m.?
  • Do you want to have children and adults eat together or in two shifts? If the children eat first, and then go to play, what supervision would be needed?
  • Is your house baby and child proof? What rooms are you comfortable with children playing in? What house rules of behavior do you want to set for children in your home?

For the guest:

  • Does your family need baby proof and toddler proof space? Let your host know this. If so, what baby proof space (play pen etc.) can you bring with you?
  • These Family Circle Suppers are a great opportunity to teach our children proper behavior in the homes of other people. Remember, you are responsible for how your children act in the “hosts” home.