St. Thomas Epicopal Church
Foyer Groups

FOYER - A French word meaning "hearthside" implying the warmth of a close, small group of friends sharing a common love and concern for each other.

History - After the World War II bombing of Coventry Cathedral, small groups of people began meeting to rebuild their community: a short litany, a modest meal, conversation. In time, FOYER GROUPS began springing up in parishes all over Britain and in America. Many Episcopal churches have foyer groups.

Foyer Group Considerations

1. The role of host/hostess rotates by month among the group members.
2. People should make EVERY EFFORT to accommodate those with food allergies or strong dislikes.
3. Conclude the festivities close to the stated time, usually two to two and one-half hours in length.
4. It is a good idea to email or call all members during the week before a get-together to remind them of the date and time and confirm menu item bringing.
5. Before the meal, the host/hostess should assume the responsibility for the Litany, Prayer for the Parish Family and Grace or asking someone else to lead.
6. Meals range from simple and inexpensive to more substantial when holidays or birthdays are a factor. Variety and all types of meals are good. Sometimes groups make dinner reservations, have a picnic or order pizza! Some Hosts like to provide the entire meal. It is up to the group to decide how they want to manage the food part.
7. Ordinarily, each couple or single members serve as host/hostess for the meetings. However, there should never be any feeling of neglect of responsibility or embarrassment on anyone’s part if this is not possible. Members of the group may choose to co-host with other members of the group which is appropriate.
8. Each group selects a time to gather that is convenient for all members. The time selected for the first month’s gathering does not determine the time selected for the following month. Everyone should bring his or her calendar, i-phone, scrap of paper, photographic memory or whatever device used to keep track of where you are supposed to be for your Foyers meeting.
9. Regular attendance by all members is very important. Something vital is missing when someone is absent. If it is impossible to attend, let the host/hostess know in advance. In the case of illness, consider rescheduling.

Questions & Answers

Get ConnectedQ. How are Foyer Groups set up?
Once you sign up, you’ll be randomly grouped with three or four other singles and/or couples, potentially from different circles of the parish community and in varying phases of life.

Q. I’m not much of a cook. Do I really have to be able to prepare a full meal for eight or ten people in order to join a Foyer Group?
Foyer Group gatherings are intended to be shared meals which include the preparation. Typically, the host provides the main dish and beverages, with other members contributing the appetizer, salad, and dessert. Many grocery stores and restaurants offer tasty, freshly prepared take-out dishes that you can serve. Those with the inspiration and capability to prepare a full meal on their own are, of course, welcome to do so, but that’s not the expectation.

Q. I’m afraid my home isn’t grand enough to host other parishioners. Will my standard of living be judged if I join a Foyer Group?
Here’s what Foyer Groups are not: They are not a House Beautiful tour; they’re not a Martha Stewart showcase, and they’re not an Iron Chef cooking competition. They are casual gatherings where the focus is on fellowship, friendship, fun, and conversation. We meet each other where we live and accept our surroundings as they are, just as God does.

Q. My home/condo/apartment isn’t large enough to hold eight to ten people for a sit-down dinner. Can I still join a Foyer Group?
Who says the meal must be a sit-down dinner? There are several alternatives. You could plan a menu of finger and fork food that can be eaten from plates held on laps while sitting on sofas, chairs, or the floor. Or, when it’s your turn to host, arrange for the group to meet at a local buffet-style restaurant, or reserve the picnic area at a county park and host a cookout.

Q. I have food allergies. How can I be sure that other group members’ meal contributions will be suitable for me?
A. If you have food allergies, dietary restrictions, or strong taste preferences, please simply inform your group of your concerns at the beginning so that everyone understands what they must consider when planning the menu. All participants should make their best effort to accommodate the needs of their fellow group members.

Q. Are Foyer Groups for adults only, or are children welcome to participate?
Normally, Foyers is an adult group only. Hosting a meal for adults allows for undistracted conversations and a chance to enjoy each other’s company.

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St. Thomas Episcopal Church
317 South Mary Street, Eustis, FL 32726
352-357-4358 ~ stthomasec