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Advice-Drinks at a Gathering


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Hi friends.  I have a question.  I have been to some gatherings where there is drinking, and some where there is not.  We are having a couples gathering and we are going to have a bar, but am not sure if I should put that in the information/invitation we send out.  I do not want to stumble anyone.  We will definately have a prayer in the beginning.  I know this can be a delicate matter.  I don't want it to seem as though I'm advertising alcohol will be there.  Can you please help in how I should handle?  Or should I just leave it alone?  I don't want anyone to be caught off guard.  Thanks friends.  I'm also looking up informaiton on how to handle.  There will be about 60 couples total.

 

Kim

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the KM of September '95 said-  Christians are encouraged to show hospitality, but the emphasis should be focused on the spiritual interchange. (Rom. 1:11, 12) Small get-togethers are usually best. The Our Ministry book says on pages 135-6: “At times, several families may be invited to a home for Christian fellowship. . . . Reasonably, those who are hosts in such cases should feel personally responsible for what takes place. With this in mind, discerning Christians have seen the wisdom of limiting the size of such groups and the duration of the gatherings.” Jesus indicated that nothing elaborate is needed when our goal is to encourage our friends spiritually.—Luke 10:40-42.

 

The person hosting has a responsibility that gets bigger as the group of attendees grows. With the laws today a host will be held responsible for the guest when they leave, if a guest has been drinking and allowed to leave they will be held responsible.

 

Personally I DO NOT attend functions with social drinking. For that matter I seldom attend any social function. I love gatherings for under 15 people and feel comfortable staying and visiting for a while but social drinking is NOT something I do.

 

Many years ago my daughter and son-in-law gave us a 25th anniversary party, it was alcohol free. I totally enjoyed myself and had meaningful conversations. Everyone commented on what a great time they had.

 

I understand if others disagree with me. I feel we cannot be too careful. Alcohol causes the inhibitions to fly right out of the window. I was at a 25th anniversary party many years ago where there was a bar supplied by the rented building. The amount of drinks consumed was huge. The lights were dimmed for dancing, a 'party' atmosphere was what it was, the guys and gals were all dressed in their finery. But there were some VERY hung-over people at the meeting the next day. I never went to another function like that again. My conscience still bothers me at what I saw.  

 

Caution, caution caution cannot be over-stressed. We are just all people and want some escape from this sick, tired world. This is not the way to get it and large groups will do this. 

 

Sorry for my rant. Thanks for listening, and please don't beat my up too bad for my stories.

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I have seen small gatherings with a limited amount of wine or beer available, so no one could over-do it.  I have not seen it included in larger gatherings.  Interested in other people's opinions and experiences. Open bar or cash bar? Just wondering. 

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Although the details of the gathering is a little different, I think the principles of this 2006 WT still apply. (w06 10/15 pp. 25-26)

 

Personally, I'd be hesitant about attending any 120-person social gathering without clear oversight, regardless of the presence of alcohol. In a venue with alcohol, I would expect at minimum that the servers would enforce a reasonable drink limit, and some would be assigned to serve as 'attendants' to assist when things get out of hand.

 

As for the venue itself, out of respect for those who may have a history of alcohol abuse, I would not hide the fact that it's in a bar. It might result in fewer attendees, but I doubt many people would be pleased if they made it to the bar just to turn around and go home because they were not informed of the environment that they may choose to avoid.

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The only experience I've had of a Witness gathering with that many in attendance was an anniversary party and cash bar was mentioned in the invitation at a party center.

I would never serve alcohol to a crowd that size in my home.I feel I couldn't monitor it and the potential dangers involved are too great.

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I can tell you that is a slippery slope. I would encourage you not to serve alcohol at your gathering especially with so many attending. Ephesians 5:15 says "So keep STRICT watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons". I'm certain our brothers will make the best of the gathering with OUT the presence of alcohol. Make it a matter of prayer and meditate on scriptural advice.

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Our sister did not ask whether or not we would serve alcohol at our functions, she asked for advice on how to let others know that there would be alcohol at hers.

She also asked for advice how to handle the situation. Which is laid out nicely in the 06' article pulled by Stavro.

I recently attended my brothers worldly wedding and there were roughly the same amount of people there. They had a bar, but limited the drinks by giving each attendee a set of 4 tickets. This was indicated beforehand and there was also wine on the table as well. There were no drunk people after, though one woman at my table knew her limit and stopped because she was tipsy.

It was a dignified event and I'm sure since this sister is concerned about whether hers will be a dignified event, it too will be a dignified event.

Each table had a prearranged seating arrangement, and a itinerary of what was to come next. I am certain of worldly people can manage to pull this off our sister can too! Enjoy the celebration and the great association!


Edited by cerebral ecstasy
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I only have 2 experiences. one was a house warming. Alchol was available. I did not notice any one that over drank at all. It was a little larger then I am used to. They played live music, and we visited. Brave ones sang. I took all the empty cans and bottles home, (to recycle) so I knew ones enjoyed themselves. It was not a big deal.

the other one was a adult swimming party. I brought food, as well as a bottle of wine. I am really nervous about drinking and then driving home. I drank about 4 ounces, slowly, then sat and enjoyed the sun. for several hours. But, it is hard for me to think about drinking, then driving home. At the party, I spent the night at the sisters house. at the swim party, I had food in my stomach,, then waited it out.

got my first tan that was not a working tan!

My main concern is drinking and then driving home. I sat and visited for hours before I got in that car. But, you can't police every individual. We go tp a dance where there is live music. On the Sacramento river.. It is public, but there are lots of witnesses there, including elders. Elders were at the housewarming, and the swim party was AT an elders home. To me, that is a bit of protection. Tough one, but we all know. Or should.

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Most gatherings of size have not advertised a bar before hand. However, since all attendees were known personally by all, their typical drinking habits were well known. The times when we had known ones who were recovering alcoholics, the choice was made not to serve at all simply to avoid any potential stumbling situations.

Really ask yourself how well you know those invited?

Consider if you have enough oversight to manage things just in case?

Definitely read the article posted above and consider the bible principles involved.

I hope that you enjoy your gathering, it sounds like it could be an enjoyable event.

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I would probably seek out some responsible brothers or couples to keep tabs on who's drinking and how much. With a gathering of that size, you should probably have some sort of attendants to keep an eye out for what's going on, and be available to have them report back to you.

 

I would mention on the invitation that alcohol will be served. That gives people the chance to back out if they are not comfortable. I know people that refuse to drink alcohol for legitimate reasons, and it wouldn't be fair to put them in an atmosphere where they may feel pressured to partake.

 

I also like the ticket idea, but I could also see that being abused, for example someone who doesn't drink gives their tickets away...

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Hi friends.  I have a question.  I have been to some gatherings where there is drinking, and some where there is not.  We are having a couples gathering and we are going to have a bar, but am not sure if I should put that in the information/invitation we send out.  I do not want to stumble anyone.  

 

 

The stumbling someone won't happen because of what is on the invitation.  If someone is stumbled because you have an open bar (or even a cash bar), then it won't matter if it's on the invitation or not - they will be stumbled.  However, it appears you have done your homework, you know the conscience level of those invited and of the community, and you are confident enough that alcohol can be served.  In that case, there would be nothing wrong with putting this on the invitation.  I, for one, would be glad you put it on the invitation.  In fact, this might serve as a protection if you do so.  Those that would be offended by alcohol will not be surprised by seeing it at the party.  They won't feel ambushed.  They will be completely informed of all the facts and can make a decision with full knowledge.

 

Recently we went to a memorial service for a sister.  The family arranged for food after.  Catered event and this included an open bar.  Several elders and former Circuit/District overseers were among the guests as well as children and people below the legal drinking age.  There is nothing wrong with having alcohol at a gathering, provided everyone maintains their Christian conduct.

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In Japan, there is something called "nomikai" (litterally : drinking meeting). We usually colleagues gathered to chat in a japanese pub while drinking. There is of course way too much drinking.

 

Still, these "nomikai" exist in a certain way also in the congregation... in my previous congregation (a true jewel in Jehovah's hands, I really loved it), the elders sometimes organised these with other brothers (only brothers would participate) where we could have an occasion to discuss about our life, and the congregation, etc. 

 

It was also organized when a young one would turn 20 (legal age to drink alcool), so the experienced brothers (and the father of course, if available) of the congregation would introduce alcool to the new adult... then, with proper supervision, the new adult would avoid the danger of overcomsuption of alcool, learn with precaution to understand the effect on his body and enjoy a spiritual moment with his companion. It's way better than discovering alcool with his classmates, right?

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I was talking to a brother yesterday and somehow the conversation ended up with a story that relates to this question:

 

He had a gathering at his house where alcohol was served, he had invited a bunch of brothers and sisters as well as his bible study and his father (i think he wanted to expose them to christian association). However, one of the brothers apparently went overboard with the drinking and started acting up to the point that he had to be restrained by the bible studies father. Needless to say, that was not a good witness...

 

So I think it's important to know who you invite, have some kind of supervision and limit the alcohol served if you decide to do so.

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Thank you everyone. Since this is a restaurant I will not have the availability to shut down bar. However, I spoke to my husband and would like to ask if a couple of brothers can keep an eye out as well as seeing if we can close the bar a little early to not serve drinks after a certain time. I'm also hoping all spouses keep an eye out for one another since this is for couples.

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Thank you everyone. Since this is a restaurant I will not have the availability to shut down bar. However, I spoke to my husband and would like to ask if a couple of brothers can keep an eye out as well as seeing if we can close the bar a little early to not serve drinks after a certain time. I'm also hoping all spouses keep an eye out for one another since this is for couples.

 

I haven't read the whole thread but if it is a restaurant can you give them some guidelines and make a two drink limit? 

 

Except for the guy with the pink carnation, that will be me... :)

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Well...it is all about balance. My husband works for a vineyard in Napa so there is always wine at our house :) 

 

However, I love the fact that fun can be had with or without wine. We have close friends that we like to sit around with of an evening with wine and cheese. It always ends up with a couple glasses being drunk but everyone knows when to stop. However, there is also a dear couple in our hall that we love spending time with - and he identifies as a recovering alcoholic. He is OK with being around alcohol, but whenever we have them for food - we have water, tea and so many laughs. 

 

We live in an urban area, and there are a lot of people our age (30ish) that like to play pool and darts - so that happens at bars. In fact - we are due to meet 2 couples tomorrow night at a local bar for pool. We all know (and want!) to not drink much...it is simply implied. There is rarely a need to express it. 

 

If there are going to be some - it could be wise to have some people with informal oversight - there will always be ones that need guidance to not go too far. 

 

But then again...i'm irish - so you may want to take my advice with a pinch of salt. 

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I haven't read the whole thread but if it is a restaurant can you give them some guidelines and make a two drink limit? 

 

Except for the guy with the pink carnation, that will be me... :)

What happened to the seersucker short suit with suspenders and matching raincoat? Do you work for Mary Kay (the makeup company, not the child abuse teacher)? High sales associates of Mary Kay get either a Pink Cadillac or a Pink Ford; really turning this country into a pink-car-nation. 

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What happened to the seersucker short suit with suspenders and matching raincoat? Do you work for Mary Kay (the makeup company, not the child abuse teacher)? High sales associates of Mary Kay get either a Pink Cadillac or a Pink Ford; really turning this country into a pink-car-nation. 

...groaning in the background....

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Putting a low sales limit on drinks at a restaurant might not go down well, their profit levels will depend on alcohol sales...

Self-regulation is a very important part of this, but someone keeping an eye on consumption and effects will be important. You say you're having a prayer, probably including a request for help with this self-regulation would be appropriate, also serving as a reminder for anyone at risk?

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I am thinking about a resent watchtower study which talked about hospitality & Jesus first miracle of turning water into wine. Jesus understood the culture of the people who where putting on the event and showed empathy to their situation. I no this is not what your asking but I'm just reminding ones that Jesus didn't have an issue with alcohol at social gatherings, or even large gatherings. We have to be careful not to make rules or to make judgements on others. It is great that you are organising a social gathering, it is so important for us to associate and have fun together.

If your event is in a restaurant then people will be aware that alcohol can be purchased there . It is very responsible of you to want to make sure of others consciences and not stumbling ones and that you are doing all that you can to be a responsible caring Christian. Have a fantastic event, enjoy

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I believe every State in the USA is required to have their restaurant employees take a TIPS, or safe serving of alcohol beverage course (At least, I had to take the course the last time I was server, bartender @ Y2K in the State of NH.) It is up to the restaurant personnel to see that the patrons do not over drink. The restaurant is liable for a person who drinks too much. I believe my course said no more than one drink per hour per person. Well, that's just a thought. Not sure if you could bring that up in conversation. In Illinois,a new emloyee has a limited time frame to complete the course, called BASSET   , - see illinoisrstaurants.org.

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  • 2 months later...

What happened to the seersucker short suit with suspenders and matching raincoat? Do you work for Mary Kay (the makeup company, not the child abuse teacher)? High sales associates of Mary Kay get either a Pink Cadillac or a Pink Ford; really turning this country into a pink-car-nation. 

as my work partner says, when i crack what i think is a funny... "don't quit yer day job"...

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