Pastor’s Pen – July 17, 2019

Dear Church family,

A good meal changes things. It is no surprise that Jesus did a lot of His ministry around a dinner table and reason too that He used metaphors about physical hunger compared to a spiritual one. At Dinner Church, I am learning a lot about the way that Jesus fills us up in more ways than one. After almost 5 months of Dinner Church, I and my Team have learned a lot. We started this journey on February 24th and will have another Dinner Church again on Sunday night, July 28th. Just like a family meal in your own home, it takes preparation, planning, hospitality and prayer.

Jesus knew this and modeled this throughout the Gospels and now we get to practice a part of this through the Dinner Church ministry of First United Methodist Church. When our Dinner Church Team fixes a meal, it isn’t one thrown together or hastily prepared; it is one that we would serve our family if they were visiting out of town or had gathered for a special occasion. Our meals are ones that have been thought about, planned out and lovingly made (or catered).  The food is hot and fills our Cafetorium with good smells when our guests enter the space. The dessert is always a hit and to-go boxes are filled at the end so our guests can continue to feast on this purposeful meal again throughout the week. And if that wasn’t enough, our Dinner Church always ends with the invitation to the greatest meal of all, The Lord’s Supper. We pray over the bread and grape juice, and children help me serve this symbolic meal to our friends. The night is holy, and loud, and unexpected and every bit different than one would picture when they think of church, but God is there with us.

We took a group picture with some of our guests because a beloved family that has been a part of Dinner Church from the beginning is moving across the country. We will miss them and we will continue to pray for them, but in the five short months that they have been coming to Dinner Church, this community has become their family and they didn’t want to forget us after they leave.

We hope you will continue to pray for us and for the people that God will be sending our way.  In addition, let me challenge you this week to use your meal time with your family, friends, co-workers or strangers alike to practice hospitality, intentional relationship building and God’s grace. Because a good meal changes things and you never know how God might fill you up in more ways than one when you come to the table.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Rachel DeLaune