The volunteers begin eating together before the food pantry and that is when deeper community forms. When have you experienced a deepening of community through a shared meal?
The volunteers that came to the pantry started with a need for food but then realized they also had a need to volunteer, a need for community. "They wanted, in fact church: not the kind where you sit obediently and listen to someone tell you how to behave but the kind where you discover responsibility, purpose, meaning. They wanted a church where they could bring their sorrows, their gifts, their entire messy lives: where they could find community." page 214
What do you need?
Sara has a crisis of faith, which she recognizes as common to converts but still difficult. She finds that "Doing the Gospel rather than just quoting it was the best way I could find out what God was up to." page 265 How do we do the gospel? How do you prefer to find out what God is up to?
A the end of the book Sara imagines the eternity as a family meal, one where people from her whole life are present. How do you imagine life everlasting with God?
Thank you for reading along. If you would like to discuss this book in person we will be meeting after worship (11:30) next Sunday March 3, 2019 to talk about the book. All are welcome.
On page 130 Sara talks about the food pantry as church and not a social service program. How does that way of thinking about the food pantry change her thinking? You thinking about it?
Sara discovers that prayer is as much about listening as speaking, and she ends up spending a lot of time listening to the people that come to the pantry. How do you listen for God, to whom to you listen most often?
On page 199 Sara marvels at the fact that most of her pantry volunteers started out as patrons of the pantry. Her spiritual director responds: "'Why not? It feels great to give stuff away. Look what it's done for you.' He added, 'And if you're poor, how often do you get to give?'" What are some ways we could empower people, even though who do not have a whole lot, to give. In what ways do we unintentionally hurt people we serve by trying to do everything for them?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Our collective reading experience will be richer as we engage in conversation, sharing our stories and becoming a community. The comments will be moderated by Pastor Emily to insure that this remains a safe and civil corner of the internet.
Consider any or all of the following:
Sara Miles talks about how three major themes seem to thread their way through her life, food, bodies and hunger. Do you identify with any of themes themes? In what way? Have you noticed other themes in your own life?
Sara recounts many times when people fed her. On page 23 Sara quotes a bishop as saying the following: “There’s a hunger beyond food that’s expressed in food, and that’s why feeding is always kind of a miracle.” Have you had a moment of shared food that went beyond food?
One day Sara walks into a church, stays for the service and takes her first communion. What seemed like ordinary bread and wine turned her world upside down. On page 58 Sara says “...something outrageous and terrifying happened. Jesus happened to me.” Have you ever had Jesus happen to you?
After reflecting on these questions or anything else from the beginning through chapter 6 please share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Our collective reading experience will be richer as we engage in conversation, sharing our stories and becoming a community. The comments will be moderated by Pastor Emily to insure that this remains a safe and civil corner of the internet.
Our first book for discussion is:
Take this Bread by Sara Miles
This is a powerful and well written memoir about one woman's experience of communion and her experience becoming a Christian and living out her new faith by starting a food pantry.
The book can be acquired through amazon or other booksellers and is in kindle and audio formats as well as paper.
The discussion questions will be posted along the following schedule:
February 3rd Beginning through chapter 6
February 10th chapters 7-12
February 17th chapters 13-18
February 24th chapter 19 through the end
Feel free to read and comment at your own pace.
Blessings on your reading!
Welcome to Books with Pastor Emily. I, Pastor Emily, love books! This space is for book lovers to come together and grow spiritually through reading. I will provide discussion questions and moderate conversation around a selected book. Please remember the golden rule when commenting. Thanks!