Each year we had a Valentine Party for the youth at church and many of the ideas are on the God Is Love activity page. This year we decided to let the youth host a "Heart To Heart Banquet" for the adults of the church. I was given several ideas, but we kept away from "couple" games so that the widows and widowers would not feel left out. The parents of the youth prepared the food and the youth had a tremendous time serving as waiters and waitresses. We did not have a "Getting Acquainted" activity since we were so busy in the kitchen, but there are several ideas on the God Is Love page, and the other Party Theme pages listed at the lower left side of this page. The second year three people were chosen (by the number on their chairs) and they could choose a spouse, friend, or family member to play the "How Well Do You Know Me?" game. Our three were married couples. The three men went to another room while their wives were asked questions and then the wives went to another room while their husbands were asked the same questions. Then they were all brought back together and each answered the questions about themselves to see how well they knew each other. Our questions included such things as:
How old was your spouse when you met?
Where were you married?
What is your spouse's favorite color? (or restaurant, breakfast food, etc.)
In what town did your spouse grow up?
We used white table cloths on each table. For each center piece we put a white pillar candle in a large globe and filled in the space around the candle with Valentine conversation hearts. Large red heart dolies were used for the placemats and smaller red doillies for the glasses. The red forks, spoons, and knives were wrapped in heart decorated napkins. Heart shaped glass bowls held candy, and flower petals were scattered on the table. The piano was decorated with large globes filled with red Christmas balls, a white candle and red wire heart streamers. The second year we used red and white checked table clothes and put the napkin wrapped forks and spoons in a picnic basket in the center of the table. Miniature baskets of flowers and decorative cups of candy also decorated the tables.
“He Brought Me To The Banqueting House”...
Song of Solomon 2:4 As the adults arrived and sat at their tables our young servers took each a small salad and tea, water, or coffee. Crackers and small containers of salad dressing had already been placed on each table. The main course was baked spaghetti and/or lasagna. Homemade desserts were cut and placed on individual serving plates and the youth rolled them around the room on a serving cart.
“God Is Love”... I John 4:8
After the meal, the youth sang two songs and a young preacher in the church had devotions about God's love and brotherly love. After devotions we played Heart To Heart Bible Jeopardy. Each team was made up of two tables, with a main spokesperson to give the answers. Heart shaped candy prizes were awarded to the winning team. The second year a girls' duet began singing "My Favorite Things" and ended singing a variation of older folks' favorite things, listing such things as walking canes, false teeth, and hearing aids. The youth also had a quartet to lip sync over a cd of a gospel singing quartet. One of the girls took the bass part and one of the boys took the high tenor part. They held dead microphones and moved with the music to make it more realistic. Last year was a formal type banquet and this year we had a picnic style relaxed atmosphere. Everyone seemed to have a great time both years.
“For God So Loved The World”... John 3:16
I gave each young person an unopened box of Valentines (like those used by school children) and a list of everyone that had signed up to come and asked them to write a Valentine for each guest. We decorated a white bag for each person (and a few extras for unexpected guests) to hold the Valentines and candy. I also made a John 3:16 Valentine for each guest. The youth enjoyed handing out the bags of Valentines and candy. The second year we gave each person a small brown paper bag which held a pair of white socks, some peanut butter nabs, a juice drink, a salvation tract, and a New Testament Bible. We asked that each person keep the bag in his or her car and give the bag to someone who asks for a handout on the road.
“Love One Another”... John 15:12
We also decorated an arch with tulle, white lights, red heart streamers and red Christmas balls. We used two cameras (in case one did not work) and took at least four digital shots of each person, couple or family as they wanted. I was able to pick the best of each group of pictures and print one on Saturday to take to church on Sunday. This gave everyone a little memento of the evening. Adults and youth alike, all seemed to enjoy the special evening.