Beloved Ones of God – what a blessing it was to celebrate the life of Edward Kind with you, with his neighbours, and with his family. It felt long overdue and that it was the perfect time. It was such a gift to gather in our parish hall, to share food and drink, to hear your voices telling stories and laughing together. I am sure Edward’s spirit was there and that he would have loved seeing all his people gathered, drinking tea and coffee.
Being together in fellowship and prayer has long been something we, at St Stephen’s, pride ourselves on. We’re good at gathering together to eat and drink. We know we meet Jesus just as surely over coffee and cookies as we do over bread and wine. Sometimes it is in returning to what we did “pre-pandemic” that brings into focus the depth of the loss we have had. I hope that the potluck today (July 3) is the beginning of many more times of gathering – but I also know that there is a very real possibility that we’ll need to be more cautious in how we do things again in the future.
Despite the anxieties about how we might have to modify things to combat the next wave or variant, I am confident that we need to be back to doing the things we do well. I was thrilled to get to pop in on the first Wednesday Lunch Club session on June 22 (especially since I had thought I was going to miss it for a diocesan meeting; the silver linings to a kid’s sick day). I can’t wait to throw open the doors to the Parish Hall for our Community Meal to return in September (starting on September 21 and on the 3rd Wednesday of the month thereafter). We are planning for that ministry to resume on a monthly basis.
I often opened the Community Meal, back in 2019, with this observation:
There’s a spiritual writer who says that the place God calls us to is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Our deep gladness is sharing life together over food, and we believe the world has a deep need to be fed – real food and the soul food of community.
The world’s deep need has not stopped being for food to soothe our spiritual and emotional hungers as well as food to meet our physical hunger. And while it has been awhile, it is clear that our deep gladness can still be found around folding tables and coffee pots, and the hot steam of the sterilizer.
The Rev. Ruth Monette
Sunday, July 3, 2022