“It’s clear that people are craving real community, but just don’t know how to make it happen.” This astute comment comes from Laura, a Dallas-area friend who has always made getting to know those around her a priority. “Busy lives don’t enable us to spend time with our neighbors anymore, unless we are intentional about it.” Wise words indeed!
Laura and her friend Steph heard about the Turquoise Table via social media and each got tables this past spring. With the mutual desire to connect with and truly know the people living around them, the friends decided to start hosting coordinated Turquoise Table events. Steph posted invites on Facebook, and Laura and her kids walked door to door with flyers. And because this sort of friendly gesture is no longer commonplace, many neighbors were surprised by the invitation. One even questioned Laura’s motivation – assuming that she must be selling something or raising money for a cause. She had to politely explain that the only agenda was creating new friendships!
Their first Turquoise Table event was a donut party meet-and-greet. It was the first time many of Laura’s neighbors met each other, and everyone was grateful for the opportunity. “That first gathering was very fun and has led to several other gatherings,” Laura says. “Our most recent event was a Watermelon Party to celebrate back-to-school.”
The community building and friendship building has inspired others to get their own Turquoise Tables as well. There are now five tables in Laura’s neighborhood, and eight total tables among her close friends. Steph reports three additional tables beyond those. Each table is hosting planned events as well as plenty of impromptu front yard gatherings. Laura’s friend, Gina, has hosted a potluck Cinco de Mayo party and a block party at her table, but feels that many of the most special occasions are the ones that aren’t planned.
“Sometimes we decide to take dinner out front to the table, and neighbors and friends will stop to visit as we eat,” Gina says. “We put out a soccer goal for the kids to play, and just hang out. To me this is what a neighborhood should be about.” Gina also shared that sometimes her family doesn’t even need to be included for her Turquoise Table to be put to use. Friends will sit and enjoy it on their own, “just as it should be,” she says.
News about Laura, Steph, Gina and the others continues to spread. Laura’s pastor at Prestoncrest Church of Christ even asked her to be featured as part of their sermon series about ways to share God’s love. They produced a fantastic video about Laura’s Turquoise Table and how she utilizes it to reach out to those around her – both church goers and non-church goers alike. Not one to seek the spotlight, Laura was hesitant at first but agreed because she knew the importance of the message and how easy it is to implement.
“Being featured in the video really forced me to step outside of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to do it to share this great idea,” says Laura. “Anyone who wants to can get a Turquoise Table and start reaching out those around them. I encourage people to take that first step and run with it!”