By Rev. Robert Lemon
At St. Mark’s-by-the-Lake in Tecumseh, this fall, we gathered on four Tuesday evenings for supper and conversation. We called it Fall Food and Faith. We shared a meal, and talked about some of the basic realities of our Christian faith using a new resource that was developed at Wycliffe College, and only became available this fall, called Christian Foundations. This course is an exploration of some of the basic foundations of our faith and consists of 9 modules that cover God, The Story of Israel, Jesus, the church, what we believe, how to grow in faith, and our place in the kingdom of God. We chose to work through four modules this fall and to save five for our Lenten series this spring.
Each evening we would share a meal of pasta, ham and scalloped potatoes, roasted chicken, or homemade stew. We would read the introduction to the module we were working on, pray the introductory prayer and say grace and then silence would fall except the scraping of utensils on the dishes. The silence never lasted long as conversations developed up and down the table with parishioners sharing fellowship and enjoying each other’s company.
After the dishes were removed we’d get down to the module before us. Over the four weeks this fall we discussed God, the Story of Israel (Parts 1 and 2), and Jesus. These modules offered the opportunity to look at the broad-strokes realities of our faith. We talked about who God is, we were reminded of the full sweep of the story of Israel from creation, to the Exodus, to the Promised Land, to exile and back, and we talked about Jesus and the world in which he lived and taught. There were questions asked and experiences and thoughts were shared. The conversations were fantastic with lots of participation and lots of laughs. One of the elements of the modules that sparked consistent interest was the “Contemporary Issues” sections. These offered the opportunity for deeper reflection on how the elements of faith that we were discussing touch our lives and our world.
Our four evenings together this fall were life giving. We really enjoyed exploring the basic foundations of Christianity, deepening our faith, and sharing life with one another around the table. We feasted on good food and on the word of God and the result was an abundant experience of God’s goodness and grace for which we are thankful.
Rev. Robert Lemon is the rector of St. Mark’s-by-the-Lake, Tecumseh.