a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

eucharist: the table

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

Joseph no doubt worked his hands
to make a Table for Mary.
With visions of family gathered around,
fresh bread warm in children’s hands,
and simple table wine that brought out the spices of the meat,
Jesus and his siblings and neighbors and those
who weren’t allowed into other people’s homes
or had no table of their own
sat around this Table,
no doubt where Jesus was taught
by his parents who had taken great risks by giving him life
so that he could take risks himself to give us life
simply by

It was at Table Side that our Christ learned
the power of feeding one another.

It was at Table Side that our Christ witnessed
the telling of truth.

And so Christ invites us to Table Side;
the Table that has been passed down through the generations,
rubbed with oil,
refinished with care
from family to family
to us.
Grace is made visible. [Read more…]

eucharist: creativity

This entire Eucharist liturgy is sung, with improvisation line by line. Each line is repeated by the congregation back to the cantor.

Christ is here
The Spirit is with us
We lift our hearts
And give thanks!

Come to the Table. Be Fed.
With knowledge, with wisdom.
Just as you are.
Come to the Table. Eat.
Come to the Table. Drink.

Hungry for all sorts of things.
Thirsty for even more.
Come to the Table. Eat.
Come to the Table. Drink.

You are invited.
Let Jesus feed you.
Come to the Table. Eat.
Come to the Table. Drink.

In a beginning
God was.
In our beginning
God was.
In every beginning
God is.

Wisdom. Knowledge.
at this Table.
at this Table to feed us
To feed each other.

We give thanks.
For friends around the Table. Thanks.
For new beginnings. Thanks.
Before our beginning
So many others.

Taking bread, calling it holy,
naming people, calling us holy.
Take, eat.
Smell, see as you create.
Take, drink.
Listen, taste as you create.
This ending. This beginning.

Creativity pours out.
Creativity pours in.
Creativity pours out.
Creativity pours in.

The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Submitted by Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Minister Director of Presbyterian Welcome, New York, NY.

eucharist: the table where we find faith

Invitation to the Table

This is the Table where we find faith.
Those who have the faith the size of a mustard seed are welcome here.
Those who know the faith of our forebears are welcome here.
Those who think they have no faith are welcome here.
Christ has enough faith for all of us to share.

This is a Table not that unlike the Table that Christ gathered his disciples around so many years ago.
It was a simple Table with food that strengthened and drink that quenched.
It was a simple Table of friends, new and old.
It was a Table where truth was alluded to and spoken,
where forgiveness was given even before it was necessary,
where grace was embodied.
It was a Table that would change all Tables moving forward.

As we gather around this Table,
the faith of all those who have gone before us join in company.
It is enough to hold those of us up who don’t think we have enough
and to humble those of us who think we have it figured out.

This is a Table Christ invites us to
as we commit to taking the first step even when we don’t see the staircase.
This is a Table that invites us when we can’t find the first step.
This is a Table that invites us when we are afraid of the first step.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

Christ is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Here we lift our hearts to God
And give thanks to God!

God created the world in faith,
that we might care for it.
God created the stars and the heavens,
the animals and the people,
the earth and the dirt.
God created all that comes and all that goes.
We might come and we might go,
but God created it all.
God called us to be of God,
to have faith in ourselves and in others,
and yet we can’t yet know how to do that all day every day
because we are not God.

This is the crazy thing about God.
Regardless of whether or not we have faith,
God sent a person, a child, to be with us,
born with his body screaming for justice,
for a different way,
for a different path.

And calls us back to faith again and again.

Therefore we can do nothing else but give you thanks
for your many, many gifts, O God.

Words of Institution

We give you thanks that Jesus,
having faith in those gathered,
gathered his friends around a similar table
on the night before he gave himself to the authorities for his death.
And so that they might remember and know how God’s Bread gives strength,
he took common bread and made it holy,
as he takes common people and makes us holy.
To remember, he asks us to repeat his act again and again,
as he did, by saying:
Take, eat.
This is my body, given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.

We cannot live by bread alone.
And so he took the cup as he did the bread.
And he poured it so we might remember the sight and the sound.
And he shared it among us saying:
This is faith made new,
faith you wouldn’t even know how to ask for,
faith that will surprise you,
faith that will sustain you.
Whenever you drink it,
do this in remembrance of me.

We break bread
and we drink wine
giving thanks,
for the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ,
for the promise of new life,
for the faith to hope anew!

The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Submitted by Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Minister Director of Presbyterian Welcome, New York, NY.

This liturgy for the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper may be adapted in several ways.

  1. Some parts may be sung or chanted.
  2. A shruti box or other drone pitch may accompany the words.

It was written for a new worshipping community entitled “Not So Churchy.” This community meets monthly in New York City and attracts artists and musicians who are church-curious but not church-sure. In particular it is an outreach to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning community.