Friday, December 26, 2008

Creating Community One Meal at a Time

Is the title of a wonderful recent piece in Friends Journal; a call for religious communities to create relationships, move toward more sustainability, and reclaim communal eating as one of the marks of the Christian life. Raising awareness about that 1200 to 1500 mile trip on average the normal bite that goes into a U.S. resident's mouth takes and what it costs us personally and socially now and on into the future.

Envision a small group of people, some members of a church who know each other and some residents of the wider community who know each other, and some joining the group for the first time or off and on when they can, gathering on a Sunday morning in the missional center that is their expression of faith all the rest of the time, but at this time coming together around the cross and table to light candles and share the joys and concerns of their lives and the life of their wider community, praying the Lord's Prayer, singing together, celebrating the bread and the cup of Jesus, then bringing not a potluck meal to share, but bringing the ingredients of meals to share, and wherever and however possible and growing over time the ingredients will be a part of the community's "foodshed", and then all preparing together not only a meal to eat together on that Sunday, but promote preparing together a diversity of meals that could be taken home to be eaten throughout the week, creating more intentional meals of health rather than impulse eating, and/or meals that could be stored at the missional center to be shared as necessary during the week with others; coming together this one Sunday morning to help, in real, meal-centered ways, people to have less stressful and healthier days when all are physically apart from one another.

That sounds like worship to me. Children could be a part of all of it; and/or have their own version or time together during the meal preparation community. They learn that church is a community of values, resting on relationships, restoring souls for service and networking them as mustard seeds and leaven into the world. It sounds like something you don't have to have any particular set-aside experience or knowledge to do and coordinate. It can be multiplied and taken to new places and new times as needed.

This is nothing new, but stay tuned for the continuing Reformation of the meal at a time.

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