Meals define a lot of my childhood memories. I was lucky that most of my life my immediate family gathered around a table two or three times a day for meals. I remember the food, the fights, stealing the last ear of corn, and so much more. Even as work schedules changed and even as my brothers and I became more responsible for making the meals, we ate together as a family. With my family scattered across the state now and after my mother’s death, those meals mean even more today.
Until I was about ten years old, Saturday brought my extended family together for lunch at my grandparents’ house. My aunts, uncles, cousins, and more would gather to eat and catch up on the events of the week. We were a close knit family and these meals reinforced that bond. Around the holidays, the head count and amount of food would soar. There was no hope of everybody eating at a table so plates on laps and kids cross-legged on the floor became the order of the day. No matter the size of the gathering or the topic of conversation, we were blessed to be able to eat together and interact with one another.
One of the things I deeply appreciate about being at Southminster is your love of food, cooking, and eating together. The Fellowship Luncheons are an integral part of our identity and community life. They bring us together at table and over food and help us to live into the hopeful promises we encounter at the table for the Lord’s Supper. We truly are the body of Christ united together at those Sunday luncheons.
For the last two months and concluding in November, Session and I have been using those gatherings to have important conversations about the past, present, and future of this church. Those conversations will guide the plans we make for future ministries for years to come. I have enjoyed hearing and getting to know so much more about many of you through those conversations. I have appreciated seeing people’s eyes light up talking about former missions of the church or current ministries. There is an infinite amount of love for Southminster evident in those conversations.
The final of these Mission Planning Process Conversations happens on November 13. It may be the most important conversation of all. This discussion will be future oriented. It will deal with our hopes and dreams for all of the tomorrows of Southminster. In a way, the other two conversations were leading us to this conversation. As we call to mind the best of our past and present, where do we see the future of this church? Where is God calling us? How are we being sent to impact the Brookside community and beyond?
I encourage you to make a special effort to join us on November 13 for Sunday school, worship, and then the luncheon. Enjoy the great food. Stay for even better conversations. Help us to move from memories of Southminster’s great past to the promise of God’s even better future for this church.