Pass the bread and nurture faith

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By Patricia A. Woodburry

One of the greatest gifts the church has to offer is the gift of community, belonging and nurturing faith together. From the very beginning, Jesus’ disciples have been known as those who lived in relationship with one another praying, teaching and fellowship to the breaking of the bread.

We continue that tradition by gathering regularly with other disciples around the table at church and in our homes. Discipleship is learned through participation in a community.

It is in our congregations and our homes that we discover who we are, face-to-face and side-by-side, with others in love and learning. How is faith nurtured in your community?

One way faith is nurtured at Joy Lutheran Church is by means of a social event called “Table of Eight.” Each quarter, eight names are drawn from those couples, singles, men and women who have asked to participate and are assigned to a table for three months.

Each group of eight decides who will host an event each month. Some groups have entertained with themes (Chinese, Mexican, Scandinavian, German, Hawaiian) serving traditional sit-down dinners, buffet style or even outdoors in picnic style. Other times it could be a potluck dinner or brunch or dutch treat lunch at a local restaurant.

The next quarter the names are shuffled and participants are assigned to a different group.

This event, which is starting its third year, came about when one member of the congregation, who experienced this type fellowship in a church in Georgia, suggested it to the Lutheran Men in Mission (LMM) at Joy. The idea was accepted by LMM and it became a yearly event.

The response to this means of fellowship has been very positive. Members say it is different from a usual church activity. It is an informal forum where church issues can be discussed openly.

They feel it is a means of getting to know members of the congregation in a way that they could not by just seeing them at church. Many new friendships have developed as a result of these events. Those who like to eat, and who doesn’t, enjoy the exposure to the various cuisines.

Future plans for Table of Eight may extend to new and non-members of the congregation to further nurture faith in the community.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 3:42.)

If you would be interested in participating in Joy’s fellowship, call Judy and Al Olsen at 854-1442 or e-mail ole62001r@aol.com.

Joy Lutheran Church is at 7045 S.W. 83rd Place on S.R. 200. For more information, call 854-4509.