How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 (NIV)
Twenty-five years ago Kim Newlen stopped teaching school to stay home with her young daughter, Kali, and for the first time in her life, she felt lonely and isolated as a new mom. Her closest friend was Grandma Hazel, age 75, who lived across the street.
Kim’s passion was to connect with other women and introduce them to Christ. She was committed to offering hospitality to every woman she met. She said to her husband, “Mark, if I eat beans for dinner every night, may I invite women to an outreach in our home?” He agreed and the rest is sweet history!
Kim began hosting once-a-month Monday night gatherings in her home for women from her church and neighborhood. The idea was that the gatherings would be: Simple – easy to set up and clean up and to prepare for; Sweet – serving one dessert with tea and coffee and candy; and Salty – sharing God’s Word. Kim loved the color pink and it became the signature happy color for everything Sweet Monday!
Each Sweet Monday had two parts. First, Kim shared a short devotion from God’s Word and identified herself with Christ. She offered to meet and talk with women following the meeting if they had questions about what she shared and whether they had a personal relationship with Christ. Second, the remainder of the evening was dedicated to a fun themed program. She wanted women to learn new ideas they could use in their lives and homes. At the end of each gathering, Kim had candy on the foyer table for each person to share with their family or eat on the way home.
Kim wanted Sweet Monday to be simple such that anyone could invite a friend or 2 or 3 to attend. No one had to RSVP, to bring their checkbook, to stop by the store and bring something disguised as homemade or change out of their work clothes. Sweet Monday was a place where everyone was invited and there was never an obligation to return the invitation – no strings attached!
Today, Sweet Monday has spread from Kim’s living room to gatherings around the world. Women continue to open their doors and hearts to reach women for Christ, one sweet invitation at a time.
During the month of September we are celebrating 25 years of open doors around the world through Sweet Monday gatherings and what those open doors can bring to a community and a world in need of Christ.