From the beginning, sharing meals together has been a significant part of our life together. Crockpots, grilled hotdogs, nachos, coffee pots and ice cream have shaped our community. Breaking bread with someone you don't know very well is good and holy and challenging. Sometimes it is delightful--other times it feels like work. Our leadership team has dared to ask the question, "What would life on Sundays at the Pilney look like without a meal?" For some--I'm guessing it feels like relief. Some have expressed that coming to worship feels like a bit of a production. The need to plan ahead and decide what to bring--the guilt of staying (without contributing) or not staying. For first time visitors, this shared meal can be an amazing idea--but for most it's really intimidating.
I'm also guessing that others of us will grieve the change.
I think we have to honor the question and be brave enough to see what it feels like without a potluck.
Here is the plan. For February and March, the first week of the month will be a feast day. Tables set, meal prepared, pass the food family style. Think of The Last Supper painting (except we use both sides of the tables). Or last year's Maundy Thursday. We'll eat. And then hear the Gospel and share Holy Communion. That's the whole service.
The rest of the weeks, we'll have a hospitality table with coffee, water and snacks. So, you can stick around and catch up with one another. One person volunteers to bring a snack of substance (crackers and cheese, fruit and cheese, hummus and pita, olives, bread and spread).
Brie has volunteered (errr...been elected?) to coordinate our eating and drinking together. You'll likely be hearing from her.
If you hate the change (and you might), remember that it's only for two months. Then we'll evaluate. Same goes for if you love the change (and you might).