Want to come to my potluck?

Submitted by Derek Alton on February 2, 2013 - 7:44pm
A gathering of twenty somethings

I was sitting at my desk at work looking blankly at my computer screen when into our office walked a young woman.  She introduced herself as Lana, a new intern at Mennonite Coalition for Social Justice (MCRS) who we share office space with.  She was new in town and wanted to start building a community of friends to help her feel at home.  It isn’t every day that someone walks into your office and invites you to a potluck so I thought I should accept.  I asked her if she would be open to me facilitating a conversation about community with those who were there.  She graciously accepted.

On the day of the potluck, I showed up sheepishly without anything (it had been a busy day and I had neglected to grab anything) but comforting myself with the knowledge that I was full after having dinner with my family.

I met a guy named Nick at the door who was also here for Lana’s potluck and we worked together to find our way through the confusing building to Lana’s door.  As we came to the door we could hear music and laughter sifting through the door and into the hallway.  Lana opened the door and invited us both in. 


Inside the house I found a random collection of people.  Some of us where from Lana’s work place, while others were from the Masters of Social Work program at Laurier that Lana was part of.  Others still were neighbours within the building, there was even a guy who it seemed like had been drawn from the street.  The food was fantastic and despite my full stomach I grabbed a few morsels of chocolate cake.

One thing that I noticed right away was that this was a collection of people my age.  Everyone was in the mid to late twenties; it is not often that we get together like this.  The years right after University are really difficult for many people, we are leaving our comfy university community and all our friends and entering a whole new world where often we know very few people.   There are not many structures in place that help bring people from our station in life together.  Because of this people fresh out of university often feel a strong sense of loneliness.  It is because of this that gatherings like Lana’s potluck are all the more important.

It was interesting to get to know everyone.  The community conversation we shared together served as an icebreaker for us to quickly get to know each other.  Some people shared stories of community through their travel, others it was from their child hood.  All, though, had a deep appreciation of community.

I quickly discovered some fellow Mennonites and we had fun playing the family game, seeing how we were related.  Everyone was excited to be there and we all made new connections and new friends.  There is a real interest in having us all get together again.  Everyone is a little less lonely then they were before the night began.  And all it took was for one person to say, I want to get to know my community better and open her doors.

Thanks Lana : )  See you next Friday!!




Hi Derek,

Thanks for your reflections on this event!

Potlucks are indeed a great way to build relationship and get to know new people... not to mention try new and delicious foods!

Did the community conversation end up happening? Is this becoming a weekly thing- as you say, "see you next friday"?