Interactive Feast

This Sunday we are having an Interactive Feast for our Mosaic gathering. Since the day I was born I have enjoyed eating (haha!) and more recently have been reading a paper titled Eating as a Central Act of Christian Community. This and some scripture readings have inspired me to try something creative. Since it is a 5th Sunday of the month it is a bit of an oddity in our Sunday gathering rhythm. Sometimes we use this oddity for prayer, other times we use it for more social activities as a way to make community practical, pursue friendships for eternity, even to worship 24/7 (a few of Mosaic’s life practices). So this Sunday I have written a short story that ties in the scripture from Genesis to Revelation and I’ll read this to draw our attention to the feast. To try to remove some of the convenience that clouds our eating habits and put back in more of the sacramental and symbolic. We’ll have a central feast table and individual eating tables around the outer area of the room. We’ll have various verses related to food spread about. The theme is Mediterranean so we’ll have food ~ lamb, couscous, roasted vegetables ~ and music wafting through the air. We have asked people to bring various dishes and also to try not to do this alone. They could select a recipe together, perhaps buy the ingredients together, even cook together as a way to build a bit of smaller community and gain an appreciation for what goes into the preparation. My hope is that we can recover what has been lost through our take away/convenience food society and tie that into a sacramental meal. I hope further that people will find joy as they have poured in their creativity, practiced the presence of God in their labour, and experienced a sacramental communal expression in the making and feasting of the food.

I’m looking forward to the making (we are making leg of lamb & a pork dish), the feasting and experiencing of this feast as a Christian community.

Missional Order?

I am particularly attracted to the monastic tradition – my Roman Catholic upbringing and  personality I think are key in this regard. I’ve been thinking about the type of community Mosaic is (and aims to be) as well as how we as a team work with one another. Although we haven’t gone through a particular rule or ordination within the team, we do operate as a missional order. Here is why I think that:

  • Wes, Stuart and I spend time in the word together, pray together and confess our sins to each other. Since we have this level of relationship we also have agreed to hold each other accountable in life with grace, truth and love. Honesty and humility is needed here.
  • We try to spend time together and look for ways to work not in isolation but together – yesterday I joined Stuart as he painted at the Annexe.
  • We share our possessions – our car is used as a team vehicle – and we look for creative ways to share resources. Swaping books is quite common.
  • We break bread together by having meals twice a month after our time as a church planting team.
  • We have deliberately centred our lives (and thus our families lives) around a specific patch of the West End. We try to take advantage of the activities, establishments, and lives of this patch. Whether it be attending a folk night at the Annexe, going to the Cafe Rio for a meeting, banking in a branch in that area, or just walking in prayer around the patch. I particularly enjoy the friendships I am making – Michael the street sweeper, Rosie at the Annexe cafe, or Tony also at the cafe. Upon my return to Glasgow, I realised I missed them and they me.
  • Hospitality is critical – Wes & Stuart detailed our car for our return and stocked our fridge. We try to pass this onto others. This weekend we are with Australian friends for Chinese food and games with all our kids. The guys will make dessert.

I could go on, but I think the idea is that we are pursuing a radical life of love for one another and others. We don’t pursue a new legalism but have found a rhythm of life and a set of practices that help us live in unity with one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, there is actually great freedom in this as the world lives in such great disunity, hyper-individualism, and self-power.

Utopian Dreams

A few of us gathered together to interact with Tobias Jones (‘Mosaic’ knows his brother) about his book Utopian Dreams. It is a story of his pilgrimage through different communities, the search for what makes them unique and to learn from what makes them viable. As a Christian community and someone who lives to create opportunities for people to be in community, this was like water to a thirsty soul. Toby had wit, honesty, humility, and a seekers heart. I haven’t read the book but am going out immediately to get it and devour it. At the end of his travels, Toby was particularly interested in being part of a residential rural & green community – he wasn’t an abstract observer but actually living with the various groups he wrote about and then looking to act upon his learnings. I found our discussion about virtue, what makes communities viable, and what centres or grounds those communities encouraging and inspiring. I encourage you to check his book out.