Wisdom of Walking Gatherings

12 summer ladies happy hourOne of the main reasons we joined Restoration was for community. As Restoration has grown, it has become all the more important and challenging to create community. Small groups, the women’s Retreat and the Women Unscripted panels last year were all awesome ways to take a risk and plug in a bit.

And The Wisdom of walking gatherings were a natural extension of our church’s desire to have people know and feel known so that we can tangibly share God’s grace and restoration with each other. The gatherings last year were set up so that women could have more of a chance to sit and get to know other women in a smaller, more casual, conversational setting than the typical post-church hello or Women’s Unscripted event. And perhaps through those gatherings, one on one hangouts or even just simply being able to have a slightly deeper conversation over post-church donuts could occur.

While I love the other women’s events, there is something so intimate to being in someone’s home, sharing food (and wine!) and actually talking to someone. So, when the opportunity to co-host with Alex came my way, I jumped at it! As someone who feels relatively connected at church, I loved that I met and hung out with women that I had never seen before (because of different services/stages of life etc.) while also getting the chance to have real conversations with women who I only knew in passing. Like most things, it felt a little risky (even as the hostesses and the fact that I always battle social anxiety!) to be doing this and to imagine how the evening would go and the flow of conversation…but as we sat in Alex’s cozy home, it felt totally worthwhile, despite some of the natural awkwardness, to be together. For some of us, our only obvious commonality was our love for Jesus and our connection to Restoration, but clearly we all, even just with those two sheer facts, have so much to offer each other and our larger community; to sit, to share, to break bread with all different women, felt holy—and felt like such a confirmation to me of my husband and my decision to join Restoration.

It felt like a gift to sit with these women, each with her own story of how the Lord has worked and moved in her life, and get the chance to know each of them a little bit; to come together for the sole purpose of simply knowing and being known? Isn’t that what we all crave? I can’t wait to attend another Wisdom of Walking gathering this fall and see who God has in store for me to meet. Maybe it will be you?!

Sign up here for this fall’s round of gatherings.

~Catherine Burke