New Neighbor Story Nights

This is a Great Idea compiled by Emily Meyer, based on several other Great Ideas already happening in our communities. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Over in our Community Opportunities page, you’ll find two upcoming events: INSPIRING REFUGEE JOURNEYS: DESSERTS AND DISCUSSION (hosted by Trinity Presbyterian, Woodbury), and ENJOYABLE EVENINGS and RICE STREET GARDENS SUMMER CELEBRATION (both hosted by Galilee Lutheran, Roseville). The idea behind both is to share in nummy food while getting to know our neighbors.

Galilee Lutheran’s includes dinner and hearing stories from all neighbors. Trinity Presbyterian’s focus is specifically on new neighbors – people who have arrived in recent years after fleeing their home countries due to a number of different reasons.

The book, Straw Bag, Tin Box, Cloth Suitcase: Three Immigrant Voices (Reycraft) features the stories of three different women, immigrating to the US from three different countries, for three distinct reasons, over the span of three generations.

The book – along with others from our Immigrants & Refugees lib guide – would be a great way to introduce the topic of learning about and from new neighbors to break down stereotypes, become intentionally welcoming, and remove barriers as we improve dialogue between neighbors old and new.

Inspired by either Galilee or Trinity, sharing food is a great idea: keep it simple, like Desserts and Discussions; or go elaborate with a full dinner. Including food from the country of origin of immigrant guests can be a gesture of deep hospitality and an opportunity to more fully engage the culture of diverse countries.*

You might find inspiration for sharing food in some of our previous Great Ideas, including:

Feed and eat.

Listen and learn.

Grow in love.

*[Please don’t make guests do the cooking! Unless the plan is that everyone is sharing from cultural backgrounds, it’s not particularly hospitable to ask guests to also furnish the meal!!]