A Poland church is going back to the future with a program to help people dream big and go after those dreams.
"We will refresh you in the style of a high tea and lunch," said the Rev. Sue Blessing of Visions of His Glory Church in Poland. "The Lord will refresh you with His peace and glory as He rebuilds your dreams and renews your hope."
Blessing said too many people, men and women, have forgotten how to dream, so she came up with a program to help people revive their youth and bring back the dreams that kept them going as children. The program was built around a high tea that takes place 10 years in the future.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Eleanor Gudzinas, Pastor Sue Blessing, and Michaelene Pollock go back to the future during an unusual high tea at Visions of His Glory Church in Poland. The teas are geared towards getting people who have given up hope today and have forgotten how to dream and go after those dreams.
"It follows the byline of our church, which is rebuilding the dreams of His people," Blessing said. "Yes, it is fantasy, but it comes from a dream buried deep within a person's heart."
She said the idea started after several women in the church were having birthdays, but by the time everyone got around to celebrate, the birthday dates were passed. To continue the celebration anyway, Blessing and the church women visited Piccadilly Parlor in Canfield, where they held a high tea. The conversation then grew into a new concept to help people by bringing hope into their lives. Thus the church came up with a high tea that held a special purpose.
"The concept was to bring people to the high tea where they could dream big," Blessing said. "Then they share the next 10 years of their lives as if they had already lived it."
Those attending the tea are welcomed as they walk through the door. They are immediately taken to a series of hat racks where they can chose a hat to wear during the tea, which adds to the fantasy.
"Some, at first, say they don't want to wear a hat," Blessing said, "But by the end of the tea, they have one on."
The church is divided into several tables where three or four sit done to share their future with others. As they get started, those attending begin by pretending they are in 2022. Wearing their flashy hats, they have to tell the others at their table where they have been and what they have been doing over the past 10 years. Some talk of their adventures traveling the world and visiting places they really wanted to see. Others talk about their accomplishments and what they have been doing.
Although the high tea program is fairly new at the church, it is already seeing changes for the better. At the most recent high tea, Blessing said one woman joined her table and said over the last 10 years (2012-2022) she had become a famous children's books writer.
"She said her husband was her manager and they traveled the country together doing book signings," Blessing said.
Two weeks after the high tea, the woman actually wrote her first interactive children's book. She is presently working on her third book in just a short time.
"We had another woman who had a big imagination and loved working with children," Blessing said. "She told her dream during the high tea, and another woman who was present got together with her afterwards. That woman is now working for the other woman in a children's ministry that is for real."
Blessing said it is all about bringing out the dreams that inspire people to go after them. In the first few high teas, the church has seen guests come from as far away as Sandusky and Akron.
Blessing said a poem was written about the program and the last line best describes what it does. It reads, "And when your cup of tea is gone, You'll leave and sing a brand new song. A song that He sings over you as you watch all your dreams come true."
"The high tea is not just for women either," said Bob Blessing, who co-pastors the church with his wife. "Men and children are welcome as well."
High teas are planned for Oct. 13, Oct. 20, Nov. 10, and Dec. 8. They are by reservation, which can be made by calling 330-536-8001. The Visions of His Glory church is located at 4453 Center Road on the opposing corner from the Little Red Schoolhouse.