Agape Meal: Learning, Feasting, and Worshiping together

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Dave Myers broke the bread
Kathy Lee and Gayle Logan led us in song
Laurel Laster shared the cup
A simple meal, with chickpeas, pickled onions and cheese
The bread to be shared
Soup of lentil, chickpeas, and onions
Pastor Clare led our Prayer of Thanksgiving
The children prepare to bring the first fruits offering
Pastor David gave the final benediction
We gathered at a table shaped like the cross.
The fish symbol often was the code of an Agape location gathering
The Great Hall was transformed this afternoon to serve our "Agape," or "love feast," a fellowship meal that recalls the meals Jesus shared with the disciples during his ministry. The meal we shared was integrated with elements of worship, in much the same way the early church would have shared in its life together. There were elements that recalled the Seder Passover which the disciples would have celebrated, but also there was a significant way in which the service reflected the elements of communion or the Lord’s supper, which later became a separate sacramental part of worship. The roots of the practice of the Lord’s Supper come out of this meal.
We learned that in the first couple centuries of the early church, the disciples had to meet in private and in secret to avoid persecution and criticism. This morning the CE Committee created some of that atmosphere of secrecy with the Great Hall lit by candlelight, and the curtains drawn. We said our “love” password to gain access to the secret gathering. We gathered round tables, shaped like a large cross, gave greetings to one another, blessed and broke bread, shared the cup, and enjoyed our communal meal. The children helped bring in the “first fruits” as an offering, celebrating the goodness that God has shared with us. We closed with a hymn, sung in a round.
Many thanks to the CE Committee: Debra Tangarone (chair), Betsy Barker, Kathy Lee, Gayle Logan, and Eric Summerer for planning the meal, along with Acting Christian Education Coordinator, Laurie Bleickardt. Thanks also to worship participants: Katie Laster, Emma Tangarone, Dave Myers, Laurel Laster, Clare Robert, and David Minnick. Thank you to Peg Limbacher, Debby Jagielow, Eric Jaglielow and Larry Logan for joining the clean-up crew. And to the many who joined around the table to worship and learn. “The Peace of Christ be with you”