The menu at Drexell & Honeybee’s, a restaurant in Brewton, Alabama, a small town just ten miles north of the Florida border, features typical regional fare: fried chicken and porkchops, stewed okra and tomatoes, sweet potatoes and mac and cheese. The interior design – wood-paneled ceilings, exposed brick walls – gives it a trendy, new south vibe.
It’s neither the food nor feel of the place, however, that catches the eye of first-time guests. It’s the prices (or lack thereof). The rule at Drexell & Honeybee’s is “everybody eats.” Following their meals, diners can make a donation in a non-descript box by the door. Some do; many don’t. Drexell & Honeybee’s is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday. As one of the few donations-only restaurants in the state, it feeds nearly 100 people a day.
The story of Drexell & Honeybee’s (and its founder, Lisa Thomas-McMillan) was recently told in the Bitter Southerner. The restaurant is a vivid example of the power of shared meals. Lisa’s decision to start it is a reminder that regardless of how taxed or depleted we feel, there are ways to serve the most vulnerable people around us in the name of Jesus.
These two impulses – making room at the table and caring for the poor – come together in my mind when I consider the purpose of Neighborhood Groups at COTC. They are places of celebration and consolation – we make friends, share stories, and bear burdens. They’re also places of transformation and participation – we study Scripture, encourage each other’s walk in Christ, and step outside ourselves to serve those in need.
NGs have started meeting this week. If you’re new to COTC, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the leaders directly. This is the best time of the year to join a group! I would also love to talk to you about groups that might be a good fit.
Gathering and serving together-