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Posted by on May 5, 2016 | 0 comments

Maple Syrup and Donuts: An invitation to Holy Communion (based on John 21)

syrup and donuts banner pic


We are the Church….the body of Christ made manifest in this world.  We are ordinary disciples, doubters and sinners, strangers and friends, family members, we are from “away” and we are natives.  We are immigrants and refugees.  We are similar but not the same.  We are striving to be God’s faithful people and here we are….at the table where everyone…all of us, are welcome.


This morning we heard Jesus say “feed my sheep”.  These directives are not just about  caring for those around us but about those we do not know, it is about those who make us uncomfortable, it is about the vulnerable, week and powerless anywhere and everywhere.  It is about all of the ordinary people.

This morning we heard Jesus tell the disciples who were tired and unsuccessful in their fishing efforts to try again.  Reluctantly they cast their nets one more time.  Abundance was theirs and their eyes were opened.  Then Jesus…..just like he had done so many times before, had a meal with them of fish and bread….grilled over the fire….inviting them into community once more.

The elements on that beach that morning were not placed in silver chalices with pomp and circumstance.  The bread was not perfectly cut cubes of the best tasting bread they could buy….it was not offered with a pipe organ playing in the background and pure white linen cloths….

No Jesus called the disciples to the fire pit…to break bread warmed by the fire, to pull fish off the bones…to sit together as the beloved community in the midst of grace and mystery.  “Come have breakfast”,  Jesus said….sit with me, break bread with me….commune over the ordinary where the holy will be made known.

There on that beach with waves lapping on the shore and smoke in the air with ordinary laborers who were tired and discouraged and yet stunningly aware that this ordinary breakfast was a sacred meal….Feet in the sand and the smell of 153 fish, Jesus invited them into the life of faith….to trust in the living God who is making all things new….all the time.

Today we are invited to hear the call as well, come have breakfast….and follow me.

Followed by Great Thanksgiving Prayer of your choice including prayer over elements.

(Note:  Here I explained that today we would share in this sacred meal with some ordinary elements in our lives, especially for those involved in sugaring during mud season…we will use donuts and maple syrup for our elements.  I also provided juice and bread for those who might be uncomfortable with this Unorthodox idea)

Also it should be noted that this idea sprang from a communion service offered by Rev. Amy Pitton at Bethany Church, UCC, Montpelier, VT
during Epiphany 2016 with cinnamon bread and coffee.  She was the inspiration.

© Rev. Nancy S. McHugh, 2016

Nancy S. McHugh is the Minister at the Waitsfield, VT United Church of Christ, Village Meeting House.  She has been in this parish for nearly nine years and has worked in a variety of church settings prior to her arrival to Vermont.

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