There are a couple of moments each semester when the whole faculty has a chance to spend time together. This semester these moments were at Launch Day (O Week), then the Faculty Days Away (Week 4), then a faculty social event that we did just last week (Week 8). The next time we'll get together as a faculty will probably be at Ancon, the annual conference in late July.
The event last Thursday night was the creatively named "Shakespeare Food Safari", which was a fancy way of saying that we were having dinner at the pub. The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills, however, is no ordinary pub.
A popular and crowded building, we went upstairs where we found narrow hallways, little rooms, and more vintage furniture than you could possibly hope to sit on in a lifetime. We found a room that we could just all squeeze into, with dark blue-green wallpaper patterned with gold, with no room to fit any more bulky chairs around the two large dining tables we had. It was noisy and cosy and quite warm, unless you got a draught of air through the open window! It was a good setting for a social gathering.
Apart from the decor, the other key feature of the Shakespeare Hotel is that it offers twenty different meals all for $12.50 - from burgers to chicken parmigiana to salad to pork ribs. By all accounts, the food was very satisfying!
Having finished dinner, a number of us decided to pay a visit to Gelato Messina, a gelato store famous for its funny-looking ice-cream cakes and for constantly creating new, crazily-named gelato flavours.
It was certainly a popular place, with a sizeable line of people queued up the whole time, waiting for their chance to get their hands on an icy dessert. We got our gelato and ate it in the park while traipsing over the kids play equipment.
The night was a good night of simple bonding over the enjoyment of food and conversations. Praise God for the chance to hang out together. The committee had, however, envisaged that this would be an event to invite friends along to; I'm not sure how many invitations were made, but no friends came along. Pray that students would continue to be inviting their friends to all kinds of events, whether small groups, socials, Ancon, or mission events next semester, and that their friends would come and be welcome in Christian community.