top of page

Pastor's Message - September 2023

~ Fellowship and the Breaking of Bread ~

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to

the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

~Acts 2:4

Dear Members and Friends,

Traditional images depict Jesus as a slender fellow. He looks emaciated on crucifixes. But I wonder if he didn’t actually carry a few extra pounds. He was known for his hearty appetite. Why else do you think he asked us to remember him with a ritual meal? Eating with others was his trademark. He even complains about his ravenous reputation in Matthew where he says to his critics: John the Baptist came neither eating nor drinking, and you said he had a devil. I came eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard…” But Jesus was right to eat with friends and outcasts alike; there’s no better way to express your acceptance and love of another person than by joining them at table. The book of Acts tells us that the early church had a meal together every time they gathered, and they “devoted themselves…to fellowship and the breaking of bread.”

We’re offering you a new opportunity for those two things: fellowship and the breaking of bread. This new program is simply called “Gather.” Five evenings between now and Easter, we are going to be hosting all-church potlucks and evening events. We strongly encourage all to attend! Bring a SIMPLE dish to share—no beef Wellington, maybe even just sandwiches from the Giant Eagle deli. Members of our confirmation class will be seated at the table with you. We might throw out a few questions to discuss during the meal, like, “How do you practice ‘mission’ in your daily life? Why do you still come to church?” In this way, intergenerational relationships can form, and our confirmands will hear about the faith from regular people who are trying to practice it in their daily lives. You can participate in the conversation as much or as little as you like. After the meal, the confirmation class will go off and do their thing, and there will be programs

for other age groups, including adults! Or you could just eat and leave. We’ve scheduled “Gather” so it won’t conflict with Steelers games. It’s late in the day when kids’ sports programs are over. And it will solve the Sisyphean question of what to make for dinner.

Remember how, at their baptisms, I asked you, “Do you, the people of this church, promise to love and welcome this child in word and in deed, in joy and in prayer, encouraging and instructing them in the life of faith…?” And all of you answered, “We do.” You’ve kept that promise exceptionally well. Joining these kids at table to speak frankly about your faith (along with its doubts and shortcomings) is one more way to

live into the vows you made at their baptisms. See Amy Grella’s article, below, for details.

It will be a joy to fellowship with each other, breaking bread together, and talking openly with our young people as they think about faith and its place in their lives. I really hope that you will make an effort to take part.

Christ’s Peace,



bottom of page