March 21, 2021

AT THE SAME TABLE

The Perrin family were important figures in our lives beginning in the early 1990s when Rick became senior pastor at our church. The move to South Carolina was a big culture shock for them—especially the three sons Tim, Chris and Scott who were in middle school and high school.  Rick and Barb were natives of Pittsburgh—and they were definitely not Southerners!  They had experienced real winter weather, cooked and ate different foods, pulled for different football teams and so much more. 

Barb loved to cook and entertain—so we had an immediate connection.  I enjoyed learning some new non-Southern recipes from her and she politely tried to appreciate our iced fruit tea, shrimp and grits and fried chicken.  Soon after they came, Barb hosted an open house for the whole church at their home and prepared all the cookies, cakes, snacks and punch herself. 

Rick required all prospective church members to attend six Sunday afternoon classes with him, and I assisted him with the logistics. At the end, Barb cooked up a wonderful Sunday supper at their home for everyone in the class.  I would usually make a salad or dessert.  Everyone who joined our church had at least one meal with the pastor and his wife!

They also loved celebrating all the holidays with wonderful family meals.  Barb’s mother often would be there.  They would always invite some people from church who they thought would be blessed to share their food, conversation and laughter.  Sometimes it was people who lived alone, or a family who’d lost a loved one recently, or people who just had trouble fitting in.  A few times, our family shared their table at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

This photo was made when they were at our house for a meal around Thanksgiving.  Tim is on Barb’s left and our friend Chimmy on her right; Rick is at the end of the table, with Scott, Chris and Julia to his right and Patrick at the other end of the table. Casual and relaxed, good friends enjoying a meal and conversation at the table. 

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