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_DSC4521 The upcoming holiday season provides many chances to show hospitality to others and foster community. Whether you will be spending Thanksgiving with family or hosting a dinner for those in need, there’s something in this month’s challenge you can do. Below you will find some suggestions from the BE team, along with a printable checklist of action items. We would love to hear from you, so please send us your success stories! Did you host a special guest for dinner or open your spare bedroom to someone who needed a place to stay? Let us know! We would be proud to hear your reports or see some photos of what you do this month. You can email emma@blessedearth.org with the subject line “Monthly Challenge” and we share the stories and photos here on the Monthly Challenge page. Check back to see what others are doing! 1. Practice hospitality in small ways: Find out a friend or neighbor’s favorite food, then invite them to dinner and serve it to them. 2. Look objectively at your home: Would guests be comfortable there? Are there enough seats for people who require them, and enough clear space on the floor for others to sit? Try to arrange an area that facilitates conversation, where guests can sit facing each other. 3. Consider the needs of the people who enter your home. For example, when hosting an elderly guest, you may want to turn the lights and temperature up and minimize any background noise or music. 4. Host a monthly potluck dinner in order to get to know your neighbors. 5. A tip: Soup is an excellent option when you don’t know how many guests you will be having, because it can always be thinned to serve more people. Vegetable soup is a particularly good option when you don’t know the dietary restrictions of your guests.

6. When you are a guest in someone else’s home, consider bringing along a useful gift. For example, if you will be staying overnight, bring some local honey or preserves and homemade bread to share for breakfast. 7. Who do you know that needs hospitality the most? Consider hosting a neighborhood immigrant family or a far-from-home student for holidays and weekend dinners. 8. If you have a spare bedroom, be mindful about offering it to someone who needs a place to stay. 9. Read some books about hospitality. We highly recommend Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, by Christine Pohl. Send us your photos and stories, and we’ll share them below. Previous Challenges: October 2013: Go Green at the Office! September 2013: Celebrate the Sabbath! August 2013: Take Control of Your Computer! July 2013: Live Locally!

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