I look forward to our gathering this Saturday to give thanks for a summer of rest, altered rhythms, and renewal. A summer for Building Our Spiritual Resilience and exploring Grief, Healing, and Becoming. On Sunday, we will have the pleasure of hearing reflections on the summer from members of our congregation. We would love to hear about your summer experience as well. What was life-giving for you this summer? What made your heart sing? What hopes do you have going forward? We have developed this form on which you can share your story either anonymously or with your name attached. You can also choose to answer by email (sending your response to my email, firstname.lastname@example.org), or by handwriting it and mailing it to the church office.
It seems only right that our first official in-person gathering after many months will be a meal. Gathering with people at a table to eat may be the most powerful way to connect with others. It is one major way Jesus gathered with people. The gospels show us how Jesus ate with religious leaders and those who would never be welcomed for worship. He ate with people respected in the community for their status and those on the margins. A meal with Jesus could be life-changing, as in the case of Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19 ). It could denounce the social structures, as in the meal at the Pharisees home during which “a woman of the city, who was a sinner” anointed Jesus (Luke 7). Jesus’ table manners exhibited the wide welcome of God: 5,000 men plus women and children fed with five loaves and two fish (Luke 9); at a meal Jesus tells people to invite the poor to their tables rather than friends (Luke 14). Each Sunday, we celebrate a meal of remembrance and welcome and recognize that this meal of communal unity is reflected every time we come together at a table with others.