My nourishment comes from doing the will of God ~ John 4:34
Following his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus was urged by his Disciples to eat something in order to keep up his energy. The hectic routine of teaching and preaching from one community to the next, as well as the emotionally draining encounters such as with the woman at the well, depleted the body, mind and spirit of any who were engaged.
The Disciples felt that a simple meal would reverse that, would restore Jesus and those who joined him and allow them to be on their way.
Jesus had something else in mind. Having just taught a Samaritan woman that the water she was fetching from the well would leave her thirsty over and over again, Jesus now assured the Disciples that he was in possession of food that they knew nothing about.
Nourishment coming from doing that which God calls us to do…the essentials of which Jesus was speaking.
In early June of 2016, three members of Newman UCC attended a United Church of Christ Stillspeaking Event in Northampton, Massachusetts. The two-day workshop took place at what is known as Common Ground, a farm-to-table style Dinner Church ministry.
While attending the event, sharing responsibilities in the community garden, the church kitchen and in setting the fellowship hall for dinner and worship, a new idea for ministry at Newman UCC emerged. These three, with their shared love for all things culinary, environmental justice and creating worship, recognized an opportunity to create something to meet needs identified in our community.
And with that, a new ministry is born.
NOURISH - A "Dinner Church" Ministry of Newman UCC
Dinner and Worship
thoughtfully prepared and shared
Nourish currently gathers on the first Tuesday evening of each month. Participants will be invited to join in the sourcing of ingredients, creating of the meal and setting of the sacred space. And… everyone can join in; children and adults, those with cooking experience and those without. There are no barriers to participating in this ministry!
Each time we gather for Nourish we will not only share in the meal, we will discuss a passage from scripture, celebrate communion and be attentive to how the Spirit is moving in our midst. We will occasionally discuss our food choices and where we get them. What is available locally, in our gardens or at local markets? How do our choices impact our planet? And much, much more!
An additional need that we hope to meet with Nourish is an opportunity for families to worship together outside of a Sunday morning. With the full inclusion of children at Nourish, we hope to have more and more families with young children joining us. But again, everyone is welcome!
If you are interested in joining us we gather at 5:00 pm to begin preparing the meal and setting the space. We try to sit down for the meal around 6:00 pm. By 7:00 pm we hope to wrap up our discussions, have celebrated communion and begin our shared clean-up. For those who hope to continue the evenings’ conversations, we are looking into an off-site location where folks can gather as late as they’d wish.
Prior to each gathering, an online opportunity will be made available for folks to signup, letting us know if there are ingredients for the meal that they would be willing to provide. You will be able to find this link on both our Newman UCC website and our Facebook Page. You are not required to bring ingredients. However, it will be greatly appreciated if you do.
Please consider coming to Nourish. Please consider inviting friends and neighbors. Even if this ministry doesn’t speak specifically to you, perhaps you know someone for whom it would. We’d love to meet them.
We are very excited that God has placed this ministry before us and we look forward to our shared living into it with you!
Come and be Nourished! Mind, Body and Spirit!