We have been attending our little Anglican church for about a year now. With a three-year-old and a five-year-old in tow, it is difficult to make connections after service. If they are not overly cranky from their little stomachs asking for lunch, they are usually pretty amped up from sitting in service and ready to stretch their legs. Add to that the difficulty of making friends in your 30’s and 40’s anyway just because we are all grown-ups and seem to have to take an extremely long time to warm up to people- it can be difficult finding a community in a new church space.
I think our church may be the exception.
One dear congregant took it upon herself to make this step that much easier. After reading Rosario Butterfields’ book The Gospel Comes with a Housekey she decided to put her knowledge to the test, and open up her home. Every Sunday. For a potluck.
I know what you’re thinking. Potato salad. Bad hot dogs. Chips. Shasta.
You would be wrong.
She simply puts on a pot of soup and invites you to do the rest. Everyone brings something. Including themselves. And open arms. And our community is forming, one bowl of soup at a time.
The food has been quite good if you are curious. But the company even better. The first Sunday was a handful of people. It was cozy. Our kids played in the yard. I got to meet some people I had only shaken hands with before. The next Sunday was a madhouse- our new Deacon was being ordained and the Bishop and the previous pastor was in town. It was like a pre-wedding dinner, and about as crazy. This past Sunday was a smattering of young families, single parents, retired couples. All in the confines of our little church, and in the living room of our friend. It was wonderful. The kids again played like crazy (my son learned how to climb a tree from one of the other kids). Our community got a little closer, and our bellies a little fuller.
This is exciting to me as I have been longing for something like this for a long time. Feeling rooted in a church. Getting to know fellow believers who are different from me be it in social demographics, age, occupation, or gender. We are all just one body there eating soup and breaking bread, sharing, and getting to know one another. It really has been kind of beautiful. It’s made my wife and I realize how much more we need to open our home as well, and our lives. As humans, we don’t do isolation well even though we often tell ourselves we don’t need anyone else. We do. We need each other. As a result, on the handful of Sundays our friend won’t be able to host, we have offered our house to pick up the slack, and I’m really excited about that.
I’m already picking out soup recipes…