New Soup Night: Oklahoma City

We get together the First Friday of every month (September or October through June), at our house, usually anywhere from 10 to 25 people. We provide soup (one meat, one veggie), bread, and what we call ‘house’ wine. We don’t ask friends to bring anything extra, but most do –appetizers, salads, desserts, more wine. We usually have a big (and delicious) spread.

We start at 6.30, and people wander in for the next half hour or so. But the soup is always ready by 6.30, so that if someone has to leave early they still get supper. We set things up for “serve yourself.” Soup stays on the stove; bowls, spoons, etc. are on a sideboard; and a small area for beverages. People know to make themselves at home.

Wonderful things have come out of it. Plans hatched around the table and the support provided here have led to many adventures and lots of deep friendships. One of our members is originally from Ghana, and talked a lot about how difficult it is for children to get a good education there. She was the only one from her very large family that even finished grade school. She wanted to start a school, and with lots of support and encourage from us, she did it! (www.pambeghana.org), Then we, our soup group, established a fair trade market here in our city and all the proceeds go to the school. I don’t think it would have happened without our Soup Night.

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It’s become a tradition that we all depend on. We know we’ll see each other once a month, and have a chance to touch base with everyone. It’s a place that we can comfortably talk about issues of the day. Most of us are out of step with the prevailing political climate in our area, and here we can comfortably talk about current events without someone jumping down our throats. It’s become very important in all our lives. We really do think of it as our community.

I think everyone wants that feeling of community; it’s what they sense is lacking in their lives. People tell us all the time, “You’re so lucky to have such a wonderful community.” So I just invite them to the next Soup Night!

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