The time of fellowship after the service is essential for our community life, and providing food for this occasion is a wonderful ministry. Hebrews 13:2 urges us, “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers”, and 1 Peter 4:9 directs us to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling”. In our culture, like many others, offering food sends the message “we're glad you're here and hope you'll stay” and as Christians this is the message we want to send to visitors and regular members of our congregations.
Your job is to provide food, and the milk for the tea and coffee. What food you provide is really pretty flexible. The only real guideline is that it should be inclusive (steer clear of super hot chilli sauce or large tins of sardines!) Some safe examples are cakes, scones, muffins, chocolate, biscuits, crackers, cheese, dips, chips etc.
In the morning a fair bit of milk is needed for tea and coffee. In the evening not so many people have hot drinks.
Good catering is really valuable but it's important not to go over the top and create an excessive burden for yourself. Don't worry about how your catering compares to last week's! If it is getting a bit too much, or you are worried about cost, just ask someone to help out, and/or talk to your congregational anchor.
Turn the urn on, medium-low, at the beginning of the service, to make sure it's hot at the end. Don't turn it on too high or it will boil noisily!