Our Back Yard… Memorial Day… This Monday… Be There!

One of favorite gatherings!!! Every year on Memorial Day you can find folks gathered in the backyard… eating, playing games, eating, laughing, eating, talking, and eating!

So, grab a covered dish (with some food in it!!!) and come on over! We supply the meat (chicken), drinks and dessert… you supply the rest… veggies, chips, bread, salads, fruit, beans, etc.

Monday, May 25th
4p – 8p
Please note: There is NO rain date for this event. But, the weather is looking GREAT!

2101 Barton Avenue
Richmond, VA 23222
Memorial Day 2015 photo

Memorial Day 2014 – You’re Invited!

Every year, we hold our annual community Memorial Day Party!  Come if you can…and bring something to share! Here’s last year’s post if you wanna check it out…  Memorial Day 2013.  See you Monday!

Memorial Day Flyer 2014

Memorial Day Festivities

Louis and I love our annual Memorial Day Festivities!!!  This shin-dig started years ago and has grown significantly since. We hung out with a lot of friends and neighbors..remembering and honoring the day. Louis and I provide the grilled chicken, drinks and birthday cake (because my birthday always falls around Memorial Day!)…and everyone else provided the rest….fruit, sides, veggies, salads, fried fish, corn cake, curried chicken, you name it!  What a blessing!

Go ahead…mark your calendar for next year….Monday, May 26, 2014….4pm-8pm.  I dare you!  

Quick side note… My birthday won’t actually fall on Memorial Day until 2021…when I will turn 58. WOW! Now THAT is scary!

Curious to know…for those of you who came,

what was YOUR favorite part of the gathering and why?

Mine? I love connecting my friends to one another over a good plate of food, where everyone had a part in contributing to the meal.

Annual Memorial Day Cookout!

Hope to see you at our Annual Memorial Day Cookout!!!

2013 Memorial Day

LouDawg Does It Again!

As usual, LouDawg’s Grilled Chicken (about 80 lbs!!!) was a huge hit at our Annual Community Memorial Day Cookout for Southern Barton Heights. Although we’ve done this for years, we just started tracking numbers.  3 years ago, we had about 40 people.  Last year, we hosted about 60.  I was super surprised and thrilled when about 100 people showed up over the 4 hours!  I couldn’t have been happier!  It was a great time of getting to know our neighbors and friends.

We were thrilled when we connected with a small group from Movement Church who sacrificed their time to help us!  They were amazing!  Not only did they bring side dishes, but they also came early to help set up.  They organized games for the kids in our neighbor’s yard….because when we had a ton of people in the yard, it got a little tight, needless to say.  Our total yard is only .14 of an acre, so the back yard is 1/2 of that.  And then…the guys, TC and Matt, hung out to help us tear down, along with Chucky, David and Khalil.  Our neighbors were great…contributing to the meal, helping to clean up afterwards, etc.  Brian, Christy and Joy were AMAZING in the kitchen!

I have mixed feelings about the day.  On one hand I was sad, when I heard someone warmly say, “I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is great!” Another new friend said, “I’ve been longing for a sense of community in our neighborhood, and now…I think I finally feel that.” as she connected with neighbors she had never met.  Why sad? Because my neighbors have been hungry for community, and haven’t felt it.  On the other hand, I’m also thrilled because we are moving in the right direction.  Less of us will be disconnected, but now will feel a since of warmth, love and community.

I look forward to continue moving in that direction… As we attempt to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Enjoy the pictures of the day.  I guess I should note that we also celebrate my birthday (5.31) each year as well.  I was overwhelmed when my old and new friends joined in singing “Happy Birthday to you” in the traditional tune….and then, in the Stevie Wonder style! Thanks to everyone for making my early birthday so special.  And…go ahead….mark the day on your calendar for next year when I turn the big 5-0!  🙂

Annual Memorial Day Community Cookout

Thrilled to host our annual Memorial Day Community Cookout on Monday, May 28th from 4-8pm.  We’ll provide the drinks and grilled chicken courtesy of LouDawg’s Cafe and Grill (aka Louis).  If you can, just bring a side to go with it!  Looking forward to seeing all who can come!  Here’s the post from last year’s cookout…  Memorial Day 2011.

“My friends are my estate.” Emily Dickenson

“My friends are my estate.”
– Emily Dickinson

I feel like the most blessed person in the world!  If my friends are my estate….that also makes me the RICHEST person in the world.  Yesterday, we had our annual Community Memorial Day Cookout….and Birthday Bash.  I call it a Memorial Day Cookout and Louis always includes my birthday as well, which is today.  We opened our yard and our hearts to our community of neighbors and friends to celebrate.  Over 60 people were in attendance.  It was awesome for neighbors to meet neighbors…young and old alike…to make new friends.

Our Missional Community was there to help by lending a hand…setting up and tearing down the tables, meeting new people, building deeper relationships, and just chillin’ in the heat!  Many times, community gatherings around here lead to verbal fights, physical altercations, guns and shooting, and other negativity that just disturbs the community.  We had none of that!  We had….

  • great food.  Thanks to Rush and Louis manning grill…chicken and hot dogs!!! and everyone bringing a covered dish.
  • wonderful respectful, positive conversations.
  • laughter, games and fun.
  • connections and friendships being made.  Some of the youth were meeting for the first time…since they go to different high schools.
  • a few people who heard about our Thursday night gatherings who are going to come and check us out.

Again…I am blessed to have called these folks my friends.  God intends for us to be in relationship with Him and with one another. We practiced that yesterday. The Bible has over 100 verses on friends, friendship, etc.  Here is one of my favorites…

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Enjoy some pics of our time together…meet my friends…