This article is in the September/October Issue 14 of Torah Sisters Magazine.
By Victoria Reid
Wanting to do something special with other Believers for the autumn feasts but not sure what? Here are some unique gathering ideas when considering hosting!
1) Wedding Feast
Ring in Trumpets with a wedding feast as a reminder that Yeshua will one day return to claim His bride! Set a fancy table with lace tablecloths, lots of candles, and elegant food. Ask guests to dress up as they would attending a wedding, and bring comfortable shoes for dancing later!
2) Worship, Lights, and Shofars
Invite guests for an outdoor evening to bring in the feast of Trumpets. Have lanterns lit around your backyard or café lights glowing in the trees. Set up chairs, and ask musically talented guests to bring their instruments and everyone else to bring their shofars! Then, spend the evening under the stars worshipping our Creator.
3) Apple Picking
Apples and honey are two traditional foods for the feast of Trumpets. Coordinate a homeschool outing to the apple orchard a few days prior! Not only will the children love picking their own apples, but you’ll be well-stocked for scrumptious apple desserts and natural feast decor.
4) Challah Braiding
Host a challah braiding class a few days before the feast. Traditional challah for the feast is different from regular weekly challah. It usually is braided in a circle and often contains apples, cinnamon, and raisins. Have fun baking and breaking bread with good friends as you prepare for the feast together!
5) Marco Polo Shofar
This is a fun game to play in the dark if you have a large group of people and quite a bit of property. First, split everyone into teams, with each team having a shofar. They have 10 minutes to disperse across the property and then have to blow their shofar every 5 minutes. The goal is to capture as many teams as possible by following the sound of their shofar blowing!
Day of Atonement
1) Worship and Prayer
Invite guests over for a time of worship, prayer, and confession (James 5:16). Depending on how big of a group you have, you can rotate splitting into groups of 2-3 people to pray for each other, our country, Israel, and what is going on in the world. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, or put together prayer points ahead of time if you think you’ll need more structure.
Gather with other Believers for a Tashlich service. It is traditionally done on Trumpets but also goes along with the theme of repentance for the Day of Atonement. Meet at a lake or river and take time to be introspective on what sins you need to cast from your life. Take rocks or breadcrumbs, and after prayer, toss them into the water (Micah 7:19).
3) Soup and Salad
Break the fast by inviting friends over and asking them to bring a crockpot of soup and a salad to share. To make it even more festive, place numbers by each soup/salad and have people vote for their favorite in taste, creativity, presentation, etc.
4) Out to Dinner
Meet friends for dinner at a local restaurant after sundown to break the fast. It may just turn into a yearly tradition!
5) Spa Day
Traditionally, no lotions or perfumes are used on the Day of Atonement as another way of denying oneself pleasure and afflicting your soul. Consider organizing a spa day for the mothers in your community the day after the fast to share what God has been teaching you, encourage each other, and pray over each other. It is a sweet and special way to wrap up the time of repentance before entering into the joy of Tabernacles!
1) Progressive Dinner
Coordinate with families in your community to host a progressive Sukkah-hopping dinner! Start with the first family for appetizers in their Sukkah, then move on to the next family’s house for the main course in their Sukkah, ending with dessert at the last family’s Sukkah. You could still do this even if you’re camping for the weekend with other Believers at a Tabernacles gathering. It’s a great way to meet new friends in your camping loop!
2) Game Night
Host a game night in your Sukkah for anyone who wants to attend! You can keep it simple by asking each family to bring their favorite board game or pile your family favorites on the table in your Sukkah. Serve donuts, hot cider, coffee, and cake for an easy dessert that keeps guests warm.
3) Ushpizin Movie Night
Hang up a sheet on one wall of your Sukkah, and bring in a projector to watch Ushpizin (2004) with friends. Be forewarned that it’s all in Hebrew with English subtitles, so if you’re working on learning Hebrew, you’re in for a treat! Have a popcorn or trail mix bar for guests to create their combinations for a movie snack.
4) Star Gazing
Do you have a telescope, or do you have friends who do? Host a star-gazing evening in your Sukkah! Pick up books from the library on identifying constellations, and talk about how the wise men followed the Star at Yeshua’s birth.
5) Nativity Play
Put on a nativity play for your congregation that shares the story of the birth of Yeshua. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want, but it’s a visual way to remember what this season is all about — Yeshua dwelling with us!
Victoria Humphrey Reid is an author of multiple books (withlovefromvictoria.com/blog/ebook), a certified Biblical Life Coach and Art Ministry Facilitator, and is passionate about helping women reach their full potential by knowing who they are in Yeshua. She is a wife to an Air Force veteran, boy mama, and lives out of their RV in Southeast Virginia. You can find her online on Instagram @withlovefromvictoriablog or send her an email at email@example.com.