Building Relationships Around a TABLE

How did I end up saying “Yes” to hosting a Chets Women: TABLE? I’d love to share with you!

My name is Rachael and I am a wife and mother of three. I love spending time with my family, getting away for a weekend, and I “worry work” myself whenever I have a free moment.

In the past couple of years my life has really changed. Throughout my adult life, I was a caregiver for my dad and grandmother until they both recently passed away. With this loss, I felt a huge responsibility to fill the time I would normally be taking care of them with something positive and productive. I needed help finding my place. I needed to find my place to serve, to give, and to love. That was when I signed up for a study called Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. The words of the introduction to the book resonated in my heart:

“Our hope is that through our story you might identify where God is leading you. We hope you read something that helps you overcome what is holding you back. And we give you permission to chase after it.”

Around the same time, I started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. This book taught me that baby steps are OK! I felt such a release from the pressure to have everything perfect! I learned to make choices that fit into the goals for my life and family, something the author called direction.

“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.”

When Kelley Hastings rolled out Chets Women: TABLE at our church, I was looking forward to attending. It involves gathering 6 women to discuss 4 questions for 2 hours around a table. In fact, I felt very comfortable attending. But when Kelley gave me that kind, gentle look silently suggesting that I should host a TABLE, I was scared. I was flooded with insecurities. I am very unqualified to be any sort of spiritual leader. I have a huge fear of rejection (I get nervous that my own family won’t show up for Christmas). I make excuses for other people to not hang out with me even before I invite them. In the midst of these fears, God did that stirring in my heart that I had been praying for and chasing after. I used the decision checklist that I learned from Lysa in The Best Yes and I remembered Jen Hatmaker’s quote “Until we are obedient in word and deed we’re just here pretending to be there.” Honestly, there was no excuse holding me back from hosting a TABLE: I had a house, I had the date open, small environments are my favorite, and I felt it in my heart. I pressed through and said yes!

I ended up inviting the girls from my neighborhood. Some went to Chets Creek and others didn’t. A few were good friends and others I barely knew. I invited them on a Thursday night to my house for cheese and dessert. I prepared the TABLE, grabbed the four questions and welcomed these wonderful women into my home. We had a great time. We talked through things, we shared, we got way off subject, we cried, and we encouraged each other. We all loved the camaraderie and being able to talk through things with Godly women. We didn’t want it to be a one-time thing. So, we gathered around a table again, and then we did it again and again.

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This TABLE of women has been such a blessing to me. They accepted my invitation with a “Yes.” We show up in yoga pants and messy hair. But we show up for the same reason, to say Yes. To say Yes to Godly friendship, to say Yes to stopping our busy lives to focus on Him, and to say Yes to baby steps that lead us to serve and be closer to an amazing God.

As with most things, it wasn’t the event itself that changed me the most. It was the confidence that came from overcoming excuses and insecurities in order to serve Him. My TABLE wasn’t perfect. Everyone I invited did not come. I felt the sting of rejection. But, I knew God was working in me. I knew if I only had one person, it would be worth it. I knew that God was doing something bigger than just calling me out of my comfort zone. He was leading me into something and I desperately wanted to chase after it. God had a plan and it involved transforming me. So, when I received that kind gentle request from Kelley to serve with her on the Chets Women Connect Team I easily said yes. I knew it would be a challenge worth chasing after and I am excited to see how God can use me.

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As we approach another Chets Women: TABLE event, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is this a baby step I should take?” If you feel that desire or stirring, just say Yes. Reach out to those around that you wouldn’t normally “church” with. Invite them over for 2 hours, 4 questions, and 6 women. God will not let you down!

How do you plan on setting your TABLE?


Women will gather around a TABLE all over Jacksonville during the weekend of October 7 at various times and locations. You can sign up to host or attend a TABLE in the atrium on Sunday 9/18 and 9/25. Questions? Contact Rachael Calzada at RachaelO@msn.com. 

 

 

Well Fed Photo Recap!

Come along on a photo reflection of Well Fed – Chets annual women’s event that was held on the 18th of October. This was an extraordinary evening put together by many gifted hands. From the amazingly delicious food, the beautiful decor, centerpieces, flowers and coaster gifts, the moving worship…everything perfectly set for a wonderful evening of fellowship and experiencing the Presence of the Lord together. Susan Freese shared the gospel of John 4 and invited us to look at the woman at the well from a different perspective (watch the powerful message here). We also heard from the Connect and Unleash teams and four beautiful, brave women who shared their hearts and prayed for ours.


{If you were greeted with a pesky camera while in the buffet line, your picture is here

Check it out to see all the beautiful faces of Well Fed!}

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These sweet middle and high school gals kept the tables well stocked.

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The best looking salad bar ever, complete with a well!!

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The food was displayed in such a creative way, with everything laid out perfectly.

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Decadent desserts!

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The well with the greens…isn’t it charming?! 

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After scripture was proclaimed from all corners of the room, the worship leaders sang praises from the center of the sanctuary.

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Next Kelley Hastings and the Connect Team showed us how easy and fun it can be to participate in a Chets Women: TABLE.

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Our Chets Women ministry leader, Susan Freese, passionately poured out God’s truth and love.

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Chets women soaking in God’s good Word.

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So thankful for these women who openly shared their struggles with us and then invited us to stand with them as they prayed for our victory in these areas.  Such a powerful experience!

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Michelle Arguello and the Unleash Team challenged women to share their testimony.

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Women were challenged to be like the woman at the well who simply WENT and shared her story of a life-changing experience with Jesus. Will you go and share yours? When you do, sign your name on the “She Went” board so we can celebrate with you!

What has God done in your life through Well Fed?

Please share with us in the comments below or on our private Facebook group just for Chets Women here.


{Pictures by Riann Boyd and Cecilia Johnson}

7 Facts About Well Fed

Well Fed is a One Night Event for Women on October 18th at 5:30 p.m. at Chets Hodges Campus.

{Purchase Tickets Here}


  1. Designed for you.
    Eleven months ago, we asked God for what’s next in His Chets Women’s ministry. He impressed the need for women to be Well Fed.

    Dozens of people on worship, program, communications, prayer, registration, volunteer coordination, decoration and food design/prep teams are working hard to create an extraordinary night designed for you (and the lost friend you invite) to be Well Fed.

    How?

  2. You’ll be Well Fed physically.
    The Hodges atrium will feature multiple food stations from salmon, beef and pasta to dessert assortments prepared by Chets Women. The worship center will be converted into a dining room and middle and high school girls will refresh your drinks. So, come hungry physically.

  3. You’ll be Well Fed spiritually.
    Moments after Well Fed was selected, God led me to the passage of scripture to share with you. For months I’ve prayed and asked God for a fresh and biblically faithful approach to the text and He has revealed it! From seekers to lifelong Christians, the passage will feed you for eternity. So, come ready to hear from God and bring your Bibles.  

  4. You’ll laugh with friends and make new ones.
    Connecting with friends in authentic biblical community is hard when life is full. This evening we’re building in time during dinner for you to rest, relax and enjoy time with your faith family.

  5. You’ll worship musically and prayerfully.
    God created women differently than men. We think, feel, and respond differently in life and in worship. With that in mind, musical worship and a time of prayer ministry has been carefully and prayerfully chosen to meet your unique needs.

  6. You’ll pursue the Savior and follow where He leads.
    Some learn audibly, others visually, and others by example. Knowing this, we are serving up different connection points for you to grow in your faith and be unleashed.

  7. You’ll need to grab your ticket asap.  
    Only 300 tickets are available and last year we sold out a week before the event. We want you there! Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online here or in the Hodges atrium on Sunday. (Childcare for kids birth to 5th grade is available only for those who could not otherwise attend unless it was provided. Email kate@chetscreek.com to reserve childcare.)

We’ve asked God to show up and show off at Well Fed. So call your girlfriends and see who’s coming to this one night event for women on Sunday, October 18th at 5:30 p.m. This is a great chance for a God-centered Girls’ Night Out! Purchase your tickets today for you and a friend before they are all gone.

{Purchase Tickets Here}


11953519_1897125350511728_3716059687598039577_o{This post was written by Susan Freese, who leads the women’s ministry at Chets Creek Church. She is married to her college sweetheart, Brett, and they have two perpetually bouncy little men who keep them hopping from one sport to another. In 2006, she left her corporate career to answer the call to re-launch in the women’s ministry through Chets Creek Church. She also founded All In Ministries International to serve women across the world. Susan is passionate to see women know Christ and be changed by Him in a way that will change the world.}

Step away from the pumpkin donut…and join us at WELL FED!

Foodie: One who “seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.” I am a foodie.  In every sense of the word.  Growing up, my mom spoiled us with her amazing cooking—I mean, seriously, she could’ve been the Next Food Network Star or Cupcake Wars champion.  She learned the art from her mom, my Nannie, who was also an amazing cook.  Needless to say, I expect good food and I’m always looking for the best fare.  I can list all the best restaurants and local dessert joints in Jax, and we’ve lived here for less than two years!  I’m trying to keep up with Mrs. Donna Hastings’ culinary expertise!  Lately, it’s the pumpkin donuts from Cinotti’s.  Good news is they’re usually sold out by the time school is out.  Bad news is they’ve informed me that I can pre-order them.  Satan, get behind me.  It’s like the meme I’ve seen floating around facebook: “My heart says chocolate (or, in my case, a pumpkin donut) but my jeans say, Girl, eat a salad!” Sometimes we continue to try to fill up on junk when our bodies are begging for something more nourishing.  Donuts “don’t stick to your ribs for long,” my mom used to say.

Don’t we all just cram our lives full of junk, looking for a sense of satisfaction or approval? To feel like we’re good enough?  To feel like we fit in?  To show everybody that we can do it? We keep indulging ourselves on the world and everything it throws at us.  Then we wake up the next morning to realize that we are still so unfulfilled.  Just like those pumpkin donuts, the world isn’t going to “stick to our ribs” for long.  We need LIFE…life that fill us, that overflows in us, that leads us to love others, that never runs dry.  We need LIFE that sticks to our ribs.  Put the pumpkin donut down and go get a salad!

Please mark your calendars and get your tickets to Well Fed, where you can relax, enjoy a fabulous dinner (for all you foodies—it’s going to be so yummy!!), join in worship, and be well fed by God’s Word!  I guarantee that you will be overflowing by the end of the night and you will not give even a second thought to that pumpkin donut!  We can’t wait to see you!


Join us for the Chets annual women’s event, Well Fed, on October 18th beginning at 5:30PM at the Hodges campus. Tickets are $15 and include dinner. Purchase today to reserve your spot – http://hodges.chetscreek.com/women/well-fed


{This IMG_1884post was written by April Tapp. April is an Arkansas girl who is enjoying her newly transplanted life in sunny Florida. She is married to Jeff, the Minister to Students at Chets Creek Church. With a heart for girls ministry, April serves alongside Jeff in student ministry, as well as serving in the women’s ministry role of leading the team for large group gatherings. Jeff and April have two boys that keep April on her toes, especially when their fun involves surfing (read: sharks), skateboards, and high speeds. She loves her Keurig, writing, teaching, and you’ll always see her in a great pair of earrings.}

If you’d like more info about Chets Students, check out http://hodges.chetscreek.com/students.