This story happened a while back, last Christmas. Background: Every year, my church hosts a potluck Christmas dinner. This dinner is organized around the congregation’s book clubs – each group is expected to provide a different part of the dinner (potatoes, desserts, vegetables, etc.). There is also a significant portion of the congregation that is not a member of a book club, for various reasons (new to the congregation, other commitments, lack of interest). My husband and I are part of this group.
Last year, a woman named Ann was heading up the committee organizing the dinner. I am not close to this woman, but know her husband, was her child’s Sunday School teacher, and attended her wedding.
After the service one morning I am visiting other attendees when Ann taps me on the shoulder.
“Hi!” she says, “Are you Nancy?”
“No, I’m Barbara.”
“Ok,” she replies, then consults a list she’s holding while I return to my conversation. “Oh, Barbara. You owe me money.”
I have never borrowed money from her in my life, and to my knowledge was not supposed to pay her for anything.
“We decided that the people who aren’t in the book clubs should pay for the turkey. I need $2 from you and your husband… you are coming to the Christmas Potluck, aren’t you?”
“… we hadn’t decided yet. I don’t have any cash on me.”
“That’s okay, but I need it from you next week so I can go pick it up.” And without another word, she walks away from me and corners another unsuspecting couple.
We decided not to attend the potluck after that. 0921-17
I’m not sure I understand what it is you are offended about. If you were to attend the church’s Christmas Potluck dinner but were not assigned a food item to bring based on your lack of participation in one of the church’s book clubs, were you expecting to not bring any contribution at all to the dinner? If it’s understood that everyone contributes, I’d say you and others in the non-book club group have the absolute best situation! Pay $2.00 and that covers your contribution completely. No shopping, or cooking or hauling that side dish to the church….someone else has done it for you! Woo Hoo! SCORE! I’ve made a LOT of church potluck side dishes in my life and I’d be dancing a jig of relief if I was told my sole contribution is $2.00. It’s hard to make a side dish for that amount of money.
OK, so Ann did presume you were attending the dinner and gave you a verbal invoice of what you owed. But if you and your husband have attended in prior years, that is not an unrealistic expectation Ann has and she is basing her comments on that information. Have you attended before? What did you bring to those dinners?