Yesterday morning, I was asked to help with a reception in honor of Pastor Bruce Davenport, Pastor Darby, and their wives, who are visiting our community from New Orleans. Their church, St. John's Faith Church #5, was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina and they have several associated buildings that were damaged as well. My church joined several other local organizations to help provide what they needed to rebuild and continue their important work in support of their community. They have several ministries, which you can read about here and here, and it is an honor and joy for all of us to do what we can to support them.
While they are visiting us this week, we are hosting a reception at the church to welcome them, hear about the work that they are doing and the progress that they have made, and, of course, what more we can do to help them. We are having coffee and dessert and somehow I ended up being in charge of decor in addition to bringing food. So, I picked up these pretty roses:
I'm also taking pretty napkins and tablecloths and some candles and I hope we can make it all look like something.
As for food, I decided to make Paula Deen's Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake, which is one of the few recipes of hers that I make. If you've never made this before, you should--so good. I made it once with my own homemade cake mix since I don't keep cake mix in my pantry and it was better, but then I lost the recipe for homemade cake mix, so I had to use the store bought kind this time.
I also made Ina Garten's Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, which I will arrange on a platter later today once the chocolate is set.