WEEK 4 – September 06, 2016

PART 1: The Roots of Hospitality

CHAPTER 4: Meals

STUDY NOTES

Best Practices: Welcoming Meals

Remember that God’s people need to be nourished around tables of fellowship and food.

Make group meals a regular, anticipated part of your church’s life together.

Avoid “club religion” at mealtimes by finding ways to help people who don’t yet know each other sit together for food and conversation.

Think of meals as potential outreach methods for the larger community.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When does your congregation gather around tables for food and drink? What hapens?

  2. Can you describe a coram Deo moment that you have had – an experience of welcome that caused you to feel the presence of God?

  3. The Iona Community consciously links food with faith in the Communion of te Abbey and the picnic lunch of the Iona pilgrimage. Are there places that your congregation could connect food and faith? How would the soul – as well as the stomach – be fed by this?

  4. Christ is present not only in Communion but in every meal that Christians share. What can we do to remind ourselves of this?

  5. How does a shared meal set the stage for reconciliation? If you have experienced this, tell your story?

Action Plan:

Offer a mini-retreat on Christian hospitality on a Sunday afternoon. Begin with a congregational lunch, with church members gathered around tables. Identify and interview members who are skilled at hospitality and have them share their practices. Role-play situations in which strangers are welcomed or rejected. Display a large map of your church building and discuss how various spaces could be made more hospitable, including opportunities for food and drink. Discuss next steps and assemble a team of people willing to work on the ideas that have been generated. Close with an agapē  meal or Communion.

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