When church ladies gather at a banquet, the atmosphere sparkles with feminine energy and dynamic energy invested in their church causes and activities. As they celebrate achievements and catch up on each other's spiritual, professional and personal lives, entertain them with games to break the ice, to focus on the banquet theme or to send them away with laughter and perhaps a prize. Adapt secular games to a religious or spiritual theme. Give women's daily meditation books or calendars as prizes.
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Refreshment and stretch breaks offer opportunities to give away door prizes. Involve the ladies in a lighthearted door prize activity. Hand out numbered tickets as the women arrive. Place a large bowl of matching numbered tickets in a central location with a bell beside it. Announce at the beginning of the event that any woman may ring the bell during breaks -- one ring for each break. When the bell rings, the ringer picks a ticket from the bowl and gives the winner her door prize.
Many of the women gathered will know each other in varying degrees. Engage them in conversation with a spiritual tone. Ask each attendee to write a spiritual conversation topic on a piece of paper and one letter of the alphabet. Suggest topics, such as prayer, tithing and communion. Place the slips of paper in a bowl. Pass the bowl around the banquet tables, asking every third woman to pick a paper. She and her two immediate neighbours engage in a conversation about the topic on the paper. The website Victorian Parlour Games suggests a twist. Each sentence must begin with the letter of the alphabet on the paper. The women must work through the alphabet from that letter, sentence by sentence. They stop when they make their way back to the letter with which they started.
Ash Wednesday can be an occasion for some Christian women to gather at a banquet to enjoy Fat Tuesday and to plan their spiritual activities in their congregation for the next 40 days. Play a break out game to test the ladies' knowledge of the Stations of the Cross. Divide the women by table or by groups around a table. Ask them to write down the Stations of the Cross in order. The women at the table who get the answers correct win rosaries. Bring rosaries for all and give the rest of the guests theirs as they leave the banquet.
As the day or evening winds down, test the ladies' memories with a quick game. Invite everyone to stand up and mingle for a stretch break before closing ceremonies. Ask the women to spend 90 seconds with another person, each woman tells the other one new piece of information she learnt during the banquet. Use a timer and ring a bell when 90 seconds is up. Ask the women to talk to someone new, telling each other another piece of interesting or new information gleaned during the evening.
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