Join us for our monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering as we explore a central theme of Jesus on sharing table fellowship (with God, followers of Christ, neighbors) through the media of art, song, guided-imagery meditation, and conversation! Just as a reminder, we have recently started to serve the homeless at Open Table center (what a powerful theological metaphor!), and we listened to Tracy and Seth Wispelwey talk about food justice issues (especially tomato growing in Florida) in September. In light of these recent developments, we can easily explore the four overlapping metaphors of "tables" found in our community's "theological imagination:" Eucharist (see Louis Cranach's revolutionary altar painting of the Eucharist c. 1540 above as table fellowship among friends), our monthly homeless outreach ministry (at Open Table), our monthly common meals, and Jesus' teaching that the Kingdom of God is God's giant banquet for a suffering world. (Many artists have described their perfect world through rearranging the elements of traditional depictions of the Last Supper, see below, Jesus with the children). You will never eat a tomato or piece of bread in quite the same way after this evening. Join the conversation & change your world!
Hope you can join us!
Best, Glenn, Larry, Jen, and the rest of the Community
About our new Monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering: Our monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering is a part of our attempt to put emerging theology & ideas into practice as a Christian community, not just talk about interesting ideas at an abstract level with no practical component or real-life significance (as many have complained about). Stay-tuned for information about our community service/justice group as it develops!
Previous Monthly Gatherings: At our first three monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gatherings we looked at some basic concepts in Christian theology through art, scripture, and experience. We have been using famed spiritual writer Henri Nouwen's method of dividing up the Bible into basic themes that highlight a different aspect of the faith experience. In one of his books, he summarizes the Bible in three themes: 1) God-for-us (Moses and the Exodus); 2) God-with-us (Jesus and the Gospels), and 3) God-Within-us (Pentecost and the Holy Spirit).
We will do much of the same thing this time as we look at this theme of "We-Gather-Around-God's-Table," drawing from different perspectives on the fellowship, compassion, acceptance found at God's table in Ethiopian icons (see to left), Eastern Orthodox icons (see the Mystical Supper icon from Vatopedi below), modern art (see Jesus celebrating the Last Supper with poor children as social justice statement above), modern literature, movies, and other sources.
Save the Date: We'll be having future Common Meals and Eucharist Gatherings on November 23rd, December 14th, and January 25th (unless a speaker is coming through town, then we'll change the date).
Schedule: For those who want to participate in the common meal, we'll start that at 7PM. For those who just want to come to the gathering, we'll start the singing at 7:30PM. If you are late, you can still pick up some dinner and join us in the discussion. We are very casual about that sort of thing. If you need to leave early, just sit near the back and discreetly leave when you have to go. We understand people are often juggling commitments.
Your Participation in Invited: People are always free to just come and enjoy the spontaneous conversation and singing, but it you want to contribute something we want you to know that you are free to share anything on the theme. If you have any suggestions about poems, prayers from the Book of Common Prayer and other prayer books, scriptures, paintings, stories, songs, etc. let me know. Post your suggestions in the comments section too.
Music: As usual, our house musicians will help us pick out appropriate hymns for our theme of the month (and your suggestions) and lead us with song.
Food and Donations: We'll have some kind of combination with chicken and salad to keep it simple. If you can bring something to spice up the salad offerings, please put that in your RSVP line. If you can help with the expense of the evening (food, copies, etc.), we'll have a cup near the food to help us cover our basic expenses.
Location: Going forward, we're hoping to have our gathering in the "community/fireplace room" space of the Church of the Pilgrims.
Directions from Metro: Church of the Pilgrims is about 2 blocks west of the Q Street Exit (that's the north one) of the Dupont Circle Metro Station. Once you hit 22nd street, go south a block to the sanctuary entrance at P St and 22nd.
About Parking: Church of the Pilgrims has a parking lot entrance on 22nd Street twenty feet away from the corner of Q St. and 22nd St (where the big "Church of the Pilgrims" sign sits). The parking lot is surrounded by bushes so it's not always easy the entrance at first. There's about 20 parking spots.