The Hot Seat – unveiled
So if you missed it last Friday night, you should really feel “too bad so sad.” We rolled out the big blue box filled with IKEA gear and transformed probably one of the ugliest spots in htown into a fabulous, sleek, hip, & happening cafe. Singles slowly trekked across town, over the bridge, and through the horrific rain to Houston International SDA Church on Friday, April 24th some time around 7ish. On the second floor a canopy marked the door to what we call “The Chat Room.” It’s a place that magically appears once a year on sometimes short notice where casual conversation, goodies, and worship all happens around sweet smelling tea lights parading across tables veiled in black table cloth & pretty decorations. “Ahh, so romantic.”
No really, this time the theme for the night was “The Hot Seat.” We had 6 couples lined up and 2 showed up – that’s how intimidating our list of potential interrogating questions was. We were going to get up close & personal with people just starting out, people hitched for what seemed like an eternity, and we’d hoped to hear from heart-broken divorcee. But God had other plans – simple, sweet, personal w/ two awesome couples.
Here’s the line up:
Warren & Tieasha were supposed to be “study buddies” in a Business Math class when 6 months later he popped the question. Only she said yes, but turned him down the next day when she realized her traditional values would require him to discuss the proposition with her parents first. When asked to describe themselves in 5 words or less, they found these 6 to be more sufficient: “Striving to be one with God.” If God is missing, then we know that we are only two lines that have no connections.
Then there was Ken & Karen our “married with children” couple. Married for 16 years with 3 boys, they shed some invaluable light on the importance of “safety in numbers” and the changing trends in dating. Ken & Karen both married a little later in life, but were church friends for quite some time before entering an exclusive relationship. They described a guiding principle in their marriage as “speak plainly & hold no grudges.”
Then there was this awesome couple who met via email. They were invited to the event just as guests, but they ended up sharing with us some really interesting perspectives on knowing/finding “the one.” Jason & Debbie attend the Gulfhaven SDA Church here in Houston and shared about the critical role of communication in marriage amongst other things.
Some questions we covered:
– is it ok for a girl to ask a guy out?
– is the soul mate theory really true?
– who wears the pants? proper roles for hus/wife?
– unequally yoked – what does it mean? (we got really hung up on this one)
– how do you respond to statement: no good men/women in the church today?
– is divorce ever an option?
So between bites of hummus & pita chips, homemade lasagna, and baklava 20-somethings congregated in an intimate setting with friends from varying beliefs, experiences, faiths, & social backgrounds to just explore this very relevant topic.
We got Raul (new guy from Cuba) on the guitar, Kemi who is our very own SDA-lauryn hill, and the cutest couples ever in one room just to talk. Of course the atmosphere plays a huge role too. One guest shared, “You just walk in and grasp the tone.” Someone else asked if I’d do their wedding. Our very own wonderful Ms. Lorene stepped in and helped us set the serving & hot drinks table. Niko Niko’s helped us out with some great appetizers, salad, dessert, & a $35 gift certificate for our door prize. It was an evening to remember, and definitely and event to repeat.
If you’re wondering how to get people to connect, how to get your friends who would never find themselves in a church pew, how to combine spiritual, social, & physical nourishment all in one room at one time – try the cafe concept.
Pull out some chairs & put someone in the hot seat.