On Sunday we had brunch at Trinity. This was a big deal because it was the first time the congregation had done anything like this. We set up tables in the back of the sanctuary and rigged up a sound system for Jeff’s guitar. We sang together, prayed together, ate together, and discussed the scripture together. It was awesome.
I wasn’t sure how the folks would feel about it. Most people’s reaction to the idea of eating during worship is one of scandal. It seems so foreign to how we behave during our worship time. In fact I once served a church where the ushers would actually kick anyone with food, drinks, or even gum out of the sanctuary during worship. So it is totally understandable that people who have been in those sorts of church cultures would balk at the idea that worship for this Sunday actually features and promotes eating in the sanctuary.
No matter how much reproach or uncertainty that meets the idea what I have found is that when we get to the actual experience it is magical. Every church I have served in the past 12 years has shared a meal during worship and the holiness of those experiences were transformational for the communities.
This Sunday at Trinity was no different. I was at a table with two young families and it was the 3rd grader who brought the most spiritually deep insight on the scripture to us. It was amazing to see deeper connections forming between the folks at all the tables. At the end of the worship time during the announcements one of the church leaders raised her hand and said, “Can we do this every month?” Many others vocalized their agreement to that idea.
We’ll see how we go with this. For now our plan is to share a meal over worship every time there is a 5th Sunday in a month. Perhaps that will be enough or perhaps we will make in monthly.
This experience of brining a meal into the worship time reminds me that it is important to try new ways of doing things even if they are initially met with wonder and distaste. Sometimes it is only when we experience something that we find the holy center of God’s new life. Sometimes we find out we were right and it’s not the thing for us, but we never know for sure until we try.