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Ministry Tea
by Rochelle Valasek
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Ministry Tea
by Rochelle L. Valasek

Women’s Teas and Tea Rooms are coming
back in full force. It’s not surprising--what a
great way to spend time with your fellow sisters
in fellowship.

A few years ago, God put on my heart to have
teas again. I had stopped doing this for awhile, but I used to have teas as long as I
can remember. I had tea with my grandmother, aunts and mother.

Teas do not have to be all prim and proper; they don’t have to have a room full of
ladies with hats. And you can make it as fancy or as toned down as you would like.
What is special and most important is the spirit of the tea.

My grandmother brought out her teapot and put on a pot of tea for my aunt, mom
and me. No formal invite, no doilies or hats; just welcoming arms and warm
conversation. It was a time to get together and share our hearts and lives. Time to
forget about the world around us and bond together.

Amazing things happen when you get your hands around a steaming cup of tea in
the company of a few special ladies. Surprisingly, all the burdens you’ve carried
seem lighter, and you forget about the fears of letting the real you out. Thoughts
and feelings begin to emerge and you feel free to share them.

When I have a Tea, I always need to set out boxes of tissues around the room.
Emotions seem to run high. This isn’t a sad occasion, though; actually it’s a joyous
one. We women know, if we are around our girls and there is a crying moment,
then it was a successful gathering. We love to get to that point of just letting it out
and having someone there to understand and love you unconditionally.

As I said before, God had rested on my heart to have teas again. At the time I
thought, ‘How can I have teas, Lord? I got rid of most of my tea linens and such.
Why do you want me to have teas?’

I could almost feel God’s hand caressing my face as He said, “Child, use this time
as a ministry to your fellow sisters. I will help you with these plans, if you just obey
your calling.”

What an adventurous path He set me on. He did indeed help me. I prayed for
guidance and He was right there. God and I actually worked on the invitation list
together. The first tea we invited all of the women who had spiritually strengthened

The next tea included women I had not been able to touch hearts with for a long

Sometimes I walked past someone and knew God wanted that lady invited to the
next tea.

It’s remarkable how a person can bond with the Lord over such simple things.
There is nothing comparable to planning an event with the Lord. Simply ask Him
whom He wants at the tea, and you will be astonished at what happens.

God even participated in selecting the themes with me. Sometimes the guest list
inspired it. At times, He led me to a book with ideas. Emilie Barnes, The Twelve
Teas of Friendship is a great place to start for ideas.

Remember what I said before. It doesn’t have to be fancy. If you do have the silver
tea server and the linen table clothes, by all means, use them. Have fun with it.
But don’t hesitate to have a tea because you don’t have what YOU think are
needed for a tea.

Go out and get the fancy paper plates and matching plastic ware. And if your
china plates and teacups don’t match, remember Hodge-Podge is in. Mix any type
of pattern. Paper doilies are inexpensive, but they look elegant. And there are no
dishes to wash.

If you don’t have enough cups, then as part of the invitation add a note for the
guest to bring their favorite cup and a story of why it’s their favorite. Each guest
can share their cup’s story while everyone eats the goodies and sips tea.

Speaking of invitations, please, I beg of you, do not email an invitation. It is simply
not personal enough for a tea. Emailing a group a reminder is understandable.
Invitations are available at a card store, or better yet, make your own. Send out
the invites about two to three weeks in advance.

My favorite number for a tea is eight, ten at the most. I suggest inviting ten guests.
Your participating guest won’t go over that number, but any less than that is great.
The smaller the more intimate. Teas should last about two hours. The first hour is
for fellowship, eating, and of course, sipping tea.

During my teas is I have a special sharing time during the second hour. I take my
guests into the “drawing room” and have them relax. I ask them all the same
question. For example, “What did God teach you in this past year?” Or, “What do
you want God to show you this year?”

Each guest takes a turn and shares her answer. Be prepared--the whole
conversation may go another way, which is okay. Most likely, God is working. But
also know when to be a facilitator and move it along.

After each shares they write in my journal a prayer they would like me to pray for
them and pass it to the next guest. I can’t wait until I get to bed that night and read
what they wrote. Sometimes it isn’t even a prayer; at times, it’s a letter to me of
how it had touched them, or how God used the tea. I then praise my Father for His
awesome ideas and thank Him for using me.

Remember the greatest spirit of the tea, the Holy Spirit. Don’t forget to invite Him
during your prayer at the tea.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Debra L. McKeen Sparks 08 Aug 2005
Precious -- OH AND HOW WONDERFUL a good cuppa. This is lovely and wellwritten. I simply had to find out who was Howard Pierce's biggest fan - I thought it was me. How lovely - I will be watching your writing. I'm delighted! May the Lord bless you with Grace.....


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