Am I the only person who needs an address when being invited to an event?

I don’t know if it is a Nashville thing, or a Southern thing, or just a thoughtless thing, but I keep seeing invitations to events and they tell the name of the place but not the address.

There was a medieval group I belonged to that had its meetings “at the Shoney’s near Opryland.” This was the information on the group’s website, open to members and nonmembers. That line tells me nothing. I had never been to Opryland. I didn’t know where it was in relation to where I live, and I certainly didn’t know where the Shoney’s was in relation to that. I understand that Opryland is huge, so the Shoney’s could be anywhere around there. I finally figured it out by going to the Shoney’s website, looking up the addresses of all the Shoney’s in Nashville, then looking up the address of Opryland and comparing.

Is it so hard to put the street address?

Think of how many people might have been interested in joining this group who didn’t because they didn’t know where to meet. Then, once the person is inside the Shoney’s, where do they go? Further directions need to state something like “In the group meeting room” or “ask for the SCA group”.

Don’t assume. If people knew where you were meeting, they wouldn’t need to look it up on the website.

In Nashville, they often tell you where something is by the name of the building and not the address. “The concert is at the War Memorial Building”. This is useless. It might be at “Citizen’s Plaza” or “The TPAC building”. Lots of buildings downtown have names apparently. They also have addresses, but event organizers never share them.

If you want more people to go to your event, give as much information as possible. Assume your audience isn’t from around there. Think about it from their perspective. Sure, you are in the middle of this event and you know all about it, but they don’t. If you want it to be a success, share as much as possible. Oversharing is better than undersharing.

Tell the exact street address. Don’t just give a name of the site. Give that too, but not just that. Provide a map if possible.

Tell what the age range is. Are children allowed? If it is adults only, do you have babysitting arranged on site? It is only for children?

Is there a fee? How much? What payment forms are allowed? If you only take cash, tell that. Plenty of people don’t carry cash these days.

When will it start and end?

Is there a form that participants will need to print out and bring with them?

Are there any special things that participants need to bring – food, musical instruments, chairs?

You will avoid a lot of frustration if you tell people as much as you can. Assume (correctly) that they know nothing about what you are planning, and share it. Sure, there is only so much you can put on a flyer. You could put a link on your flyer, but not everybody has access to the internet all the time. Take the time and the space and put as much as you can on there. And give a contact phone number and a name.

If you don’t have enough information on your event page, you might as well not have the event.

Communion loaves and fishes

The Last Supper, the model for our Communion service, is linked to when Jesus fed the multitudes. This event happened twice.

Here, he feeds over 5,000 people, using five loaves and two fish. There were twelve baskets of leftovers. The story starts just after Jesus has heard that his cousin John the Baptist has been murdered.

Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples approached Him and said, “This place is a wilderness, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.”
17 “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to Him.
18 “Bring them here to Me,” He said. 19 Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces! 21 Now those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.

Shortly after that, he feeds over four thousand people, using seven loaves and a few small fish. There were seven baskets left over.

Matthew 15: 29-39
29 Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to Him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they gave glory to the God of Israel.
32 Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way.”
33 The disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to fill such a crowd?”
34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them.
“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”
35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were filled. Then they collected the leftover pieces—seven large baskets full. 38 Now those who ate were 4,000 men, besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

What are the common elements in this story? Jesus takes what he has, little though it is. He doesn’t pray for more. He gives thanks for what he has and blesses it. Then he breaks it and distributes it.

This is what happens to us when we become part of the Body of Christ, and what we are supposed to do. It is something we receive and something we are to give.

We aren’t enough for the task. We are small and weak. We are broken. Yet God loves us, and is thankful for us. We are blessed by Jesus. And through that thankfulness and that blessing, we are enough. We are exactly what the world needs. We are food for a hungry world.

We are to take that thankfulness and that blessing and multiply it through our actions and our lives.

This is what Communion is. It feeds us, and through that, we are able to feed the world. We are able to be the healing the world needs, because we have been healed.