For each table you will be using create a different theme centered on a particular book. You may wish to include the book or its title in the decoration, or keep the title secret and have ladies go from table to table guessing what the book title is. If you opt for the secret title, provide ladies with a printed book title list and pencil so they can write down their guesses (add number cards to the tables to keep things from getting confusing). Your book list could also include additional interesting titles for ladies to read.
Here is a sample table decoration - book title "Belonging" by Nancy and Ron Rockey (available Here from Adventsource)
Make copies of old family pictures - these should be of groups of people. Ask ladies to bring in black and white copies of family photos if you are having trouble locating some.
Decorate all of your tables with a common theme first (since it is fall why not try pumpkins, ears of colorful corn, miniature hay bales, leaves, and colorful fall tablecloths). Then place your theme items on each table. For the 'Belonging' table - prop pictures up on table then add items that represent belonging such as 'sisters' locket, membership card, rolled up paper scroll with words 'birth certificate' written on it, etc. Add a number card is you are keeping the title secret, or place a copy of the book or a sheet with the title and author on the table. Wood or paper cutouts, prints of words such as family, friends, together could also be used.
Food Quick and Easy: hot cocoa or cider and purchased cookies Potluck: have each lady bring their favorite soup or bread to share Elegant: Offer tea (with real tea cups - encourage ladies to bring their favorite teacup from home), with finger sandwiches, dainty desserts, and small bowls of a seasonal soup.
Ask one or two women to share a reading and scripture verse from their favorite devotional book. If young ladies are present include a devotional reading for them as well. You could also have someone talk about keeping a devotional journal.
Sisters In Prayer(S.I.P)
Have a basket with bookmarks and pens available for ladies to take as they arrive. During the program have women write a prayer request on the back of their bookmark. Collect the bookmarks then redistribute them making sure each women gets someone Else's bookmark. Ask them to pray for the written prayer request.
Make a bookmark using wire and beads. Attach the bookmark to a card containing a Bible verse. Hand out bookmarks to shut-ins, visitors at church, give with a devotional book as a special gift, or mail to academy and college students.
Put together a small book of Bible promises that can be used to encourage people in nursing homes, those that can't come to church, new members, visitors, or anyone who needs a little lift.
Bring in books that are in good condition to be distributed to assisted living facilities, nursing homes, women's shelters, etc.
Have each lady bring in a new children's books. Make a colorful, bright bookmark and enclose it with the book. Wrap books and donate them to a local hospital, family shelter, or foster services program.
Have a book list swap. Encourage each lady to bring in a list of her favorite books. Set up an area for lists to be placed and include pens and paper for writing down titles you are interested in reading. Or collect the lists and print them out in a master list to be distributed at a later date.
Ask ladies to bring in books they no longer use and have a book swap