Community Feast

Our annual kick-off for the program year on Sunday, Sept. 11 was a delightful day. The weather was gorgeous, the wind kept the mosquitos at bay, the music, food, and worship were awesome. However, there were some who didn’t come or didn’t stay because of the inaccessibility of the grass. I apologize. We’ll work on how to make it better for you next year. We want to be as inclusive as we possibly can.

To have a gathering on the front lawn of the church [instead of the parking lot] speaks volumes to our neighbors about who we are, as Union UCC, in the neighborhood. We waved to bicyclers and an SLP fire truck returning to the station. We shared our leftovers with the police and the fire departments. This yearly gathering is an important community builder and heaven knows we need that in this day and age.

This event was formerly known as ‘Reunion Sunday.’ In order for the name to be more radically welcoming, it was renamed: “Community Feast.” For some of us the word ‘feast’ brings images of large tables heaped with food. Yet, for some cultures, feast means a community gathering with a little shared food, whatever you have handy. Jesus referred to the Realm of God as a feast – a love feast where no one is a stranger.

Interestingly, the most recent Christian Century magazine featured a section of short stories under the theme “Feast.” There were several stories about churches feeding the homeless and how the gathered community not only ate together, but feasted on the shared relationship that built up each person in unique ways. There was a story about a Lutheran teaching in a Cairo seminary and her experience of Ramadan. Amy Walter Peterson wrote about the daily ritual of breaking the Ramadan fast called iftar. “There on the sidewalk, Americans and Egyptians, men and women, Christians and Muslims, feasted together [on a large pot of noodles in the middle of the street]. We communicated with smiles of pleasure, bright eyes, and cameras offered for an iftar selfie.” (Christian Century magazine, 9/14/16, pg. 24.) Shalom, Pr. Barb

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