Practicing Table Fellowship for Spiritual Nurture

 Since it is in our nature to gather – all people do so, some in reality, others virtually – reflect on the communities of which you are a part.  Which ones are life-giving to you. What values do these various communities have? When you are facing a difficulty or a loss do you stay connected or withdraw?

We describe the church as a “community.” We eat together, we gather in small groups. We also gather around projects such as Luke 14:12, mentoring children, and in social justice concerns. Reflect on how you can empower yourself to deepen your presence in the groups where you find belonging or even create new community around you, possibly by inviting friends for coffee or joining a new group?

Commit to Action

As you go about this week, we invite you to choose one or more of these actions:

  • Practice gathering and accept invitations that come your way for moments of belonging and community.

  • Recall.  Tell often of those life-giving moments of belonging and community you experienced.

  • Welcome old friends and strangers with warmth; catch yourself when self-doubt or judgement becomes a barrier between you and the next person.

  • Do things with other people.  Volunteering is an easy way to do it, but so too is eating together, attending worship or funerals, celebrating births, and going to the dog park.

  • Participate in our “Soul Food and the Good Life” Recipe Exchange

  • Read Joel 2:11-14, 18-27 and join our Online Study in preparation for next Sunday

In response to the “locusts” in life of loss, the prophet Joel encourages the people to gather and build community. What better way to build community than through food? To that end, we want to create a community table on Maundy Thursday around the deep sharing that takes place through the simple practice of a recipe exchange. We hope you will make plans to join us for this unique, community gathering.

Here's how it will work: 

1)     Now through next week

  • Select a recipe that is special to you and not too difficult to make.

  • As you select the recipe, reflect on the history of the recipe and about the people that first used or created the recipe, and the relationships that might have been built around this shared recipe. Reflect on how what this recipe means to you, and how it connects you to others.

Copy and bring the recipe to church or email us the recipe. Include your name and a brief history of the recipe.  You can use the front and back of the attached recipe card, as well.

2)     March 24 and 31

  • Recipe exchange during church. You will leave your recipe for someone else to choose, and then you select a recipe from another person.

3)     Prior to Maundy Thursday (April 18)

  • Bake the item that you received in the recipe exchange.

  • While you are baking it, offer a prayer for the individuals and family connected to the recipe.

4)     Maundy Thursday - April 18th @ 6 p.m.

  • Bring your baked item to church. On this holy night, we gather for “soul food” as one community, eating together the dishes that have been prepared. During this dinner, people are invited to share stories and reflect on moments, thoughts or ideas prompted by the recipe exchange. All individuals are invited and encouraged to attend regardless of whether they participated in the creation of the “soul food.”