by Rev. Dr. Dale Azevedo,  Sr. Minister

“Ask someone at the table a question (any question) and then share with them something you admire or appreciate about them.”

These were the words on the bottom back of the card I drew from the pile at our table. Today was our first Lenten Lunch, and what a wonderful lunch it was!

It was wonderful because the food, company, and conversation were each wonderful.

We had seven delightful hungry bellies at our first Lenten Lunch. The meal consisted of homemade potato and leek soup. Don’t tell anyone it was vegan because it was delicious! In fact, the soup was so good everyone got up and went for seconds. We also had some nice warm fresh bread to go with our soup. Also don’t tell anyone that I was the first person to dip my bread in the soup. Apparently, it’s impolite! However, when everything is that delicious you can’t help but savor every morsel.

Racquel spent the morning making soup, setting the tables, getting out the “pocket prayer squares,” and setting the tables up all lovely-like. Fellowship hall looked and smelled like a fancy restaurant. We even used real dishes and had sprigs of fresh thyme at each table. When Racquel calls for a Lenten Lunch, she isn’t joking around. When it is my turn in a few weeks, I’ll have a lot to live up to!

Racquel started us off with a traditional Irish prayer. Then we chatted and joked, shared and laughed our way through lunch. When that was over, I grabbed one of the cards from the center of the table and proceeded to follow its instructions (as mentioned above). It was a great way to transition into a slightly deeper level of sharing. Each of us in turn then drew a card and followed the directions it provided, inviting each of us to share a little bit about our present lives.

“What is something that you enjoyed recently?”

“What does it mean to be blessed and how have you been blessed recently?”

“What are you looking forward to in the days ahead?”

“What is something that you have experienced lately that was challenging?”

We all took turns reading and sharing and listening. And of course, this sparked us on to further conversation. In the end, I couldn’t have imagined spending my hour and 15 minutes in any better way. It was great to reconnect with church friends, to laugh a little bit in these difficult winter days and enjoy a hearty meal.

I hope you can make it next week. And if you can’t, maybe you can join us the week after. Racquel and I will be hosting these lunches throughout Lent culminating with our final lunch on Maundy Thursday, March 28. You should really come and join us, we’d love to see you!

You don’t have to, but if you want to RSVP send Racquel an email and let us know you’re coming!