Can I tell you guys a secret? Fall is my favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I find deep joy in each and every season, but there’s just something magical about fall!! A crisp chill in the air. Football. Flannels. Bonfires. Chai Lattes. Hayrides. Thanksgiving. ALLTHEPUMPKINTHINGS.
The fun thing is I don’t think I’m alone in this love for fall. Wondering how to make the most of Fall and the people the Lord has placed in your life? Look no further! Here are some ideas to help you not only enjoy all the fall things, but to do so in the context of community--
Fall Treats with a Twist
We know Christmas cookie swaps, but why not have a fall one?! Invite a small group of friends or people you’re discipling over to your house (or any willing host home). Task everyone with baking their favorite fall treat to bring to the party and bring it in an unidentifiable bag. Once there, have everyone place their treat in a centralized location. You can mix and mingle till everyone arrives (maybe sip on some hot apple cider simmering in a crockpot or homemade PSLs?). Then once everyone is there, let the cookie fun begin! Have everyone crowd around the treats and play a game to guess who brought which treat. This will help girls remember each other’s name and get to know each other a little better. Once you finish this, everyone can load up their plate with delicious fall treats to enjoy there and/or to save for later!
Bake to Bless
My mom worked at Southern Living cookbook/magazine for a few years. Since then she has used the passion and skills she gleaned there to bless people around her. Watching her bake pies and cakes and cookies and all the goodies for the sole purpose of giving them away to those in need used to frustrate me because I couldn’t enjoy them for myself. Now that I’m a little more mature (emphasis on the little), I see the great value and beauty in this.
This fall grab a group of ladies, bust out the aprons and mixers and pumpkin puree and whip up a loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread or apple pie or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or whatever you find on Pinterest. Then pick someone to bless! This could be anyone from a neighbor or a friend you’ve been praying for opportunities to minister to, a widow from your church, someone that just had a baby…the opportunities are endless! As your baking together, take time to pray for the recipient. Then load up and take the baked goodies to the person!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a scarf swap? **Raises both hands** Don’t get me wrong, I love a good scarf. But this fall, let’s mix things up! Flannel button ups are all the rage -You can layer them, tie them around your waist or just wear them plain buttoned up.
Get some ladies together and have everyone bring a general sized flannel, wrapped up and ready to swap. You can play this “Secret Santa” style where you draw numbers, unwrap and steal, or you can get creative in your method of swapping.
You could also assign each person coming a girl to buy a flannel for, giving her the girl’s size and favorite colors. Then each girl can buy a flannel for each other. Once you go to swap, girls can unwrap their present and then guess who bought for them. This can help girls practice generosity and thoughtfulness towards one another, helping to build community.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t just love to eat allthepumpkinthings, but you also love to decorate with them! And if you’ve ever glimpsed at Pinterest during the fall, you’ve seen a zillon ideas for painting the cutest little pumpkins.
Invite your girls over, choose which design to paint, buy some cheap little pumpkins from the Dollar Story or Hobby Lobby and whatever other supplies needed and get your craft on! Check out this idea, this one, or this one! If you aren’t feeling the pumpkins, you can also create your own blanket scarves
Halloween Block Party
Halloween is one of those things you either love or you hate. But no matter what your feelings are about Halloween, it is a great time of year to get together with people!
Our church just started doing this thing during Halloween to help us live more missionally in our neighborhoods and I wanted to invite you to join in! Here’s how it works—since people are out and about on Halloween, trick-or-treating and what not, why not make the most of it and invite them to gather in one centralized location to get to know one another and build community?! That’s the heart of the Halloween Block Party!
So get together with your group of ladies and pick a home to host your block party. Think strategically and prayerfully. Once you’ve chosen a home and what day/time, make some invitations and give them out in your neighborhood. On the night of, set up some food, yard games, and prizes in the front yard and welcome all the neighbors that drop by! Pray for the Lord to make some new connections and begin some cool new relationships through this and step back and watch Him work!
These are just a few ideas that came to my mind that I wanted to share to help you build initial friendships and/or grow deeper with your community while also making the most of all the fun fall things! Feel free to mix and match any of these ideas or to recommend some of your own. I always love more ideas for how to enjoy every sweet moment of this glorious season! Happy Fall, y’all! - Mollie
Mollie Tyler is the Associate Student Minister at The Heights in Richardson, TX. She's been on staff since June 2014 and thanks God constantly for the opportunity to shepherd the flock of girls He has graciously entrusted to her! Some of Mollie’s favorite things are traveling, a good cup of coffee, baking, people, adventures, and seeing the Kingdom advance all around her.