Jesus, Food, Community and Cookbooks
One thing I have learned after being at Bangor Liberty Friends for a little over a year is that food is important. Yes, it nourishes us, but food means a great deal more than sustenance for the body. Food and the act of eating together as a community is important to our Lord, as well.
Look at the feeding of the five thousand. God gives out bread. And not just a little bread. Do you remember the wedding at Cana. Jesus turns perhaps 120-180 gallons of water into wine. What is described as the best wine. At the beginning of the Bible story, the first thing God does for humanity is to present us with a menu: "The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food" (Gen. 2:8-9). At the end of the Bible story, God sets before us a perpetual feast. He thinks food is a good thing.
God incarnate eats. Jesus would have eaten two meals a day. When he ate with the rich, he might have had white bread, but most of the time he ate the barley bread eaten by the poor, along with cheese, butter, and eggs. Meat and poultry were too expensive to be eaten except on feast days. He may have had fish on the Sabbath. There was of course no tea or coffee. Jesus would have drunk wine, generally, but not always, mixed with water. Honey was the primary sweetener, along with figs. Pepper, ginger, and other spices were imported, but were expensive. Such was the diet of God incarnate.
The risen Christ eats. Indeed he makes a point of doing so publicly: "They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them" (Luke 24:42-43). Eating in the presence of God is our future. Food will be part of the renewed creation. Food is not left behind with the resurrection. References to a future feast are not just metaphors for an ethereal future existence. Our future is a real feast.
The point is that food isn't just fuel. It's not just a mechanism for sustaining us for ministry. It's gift, generosity, grace. Jesus gave thanks and broke bread. In so doing, he affirms that food is to be received as a gift from God. Food matters as matter. It's a physical substance, and part of God's good world. We're to embrace the world as it is—not merely as a picture of some other spiritual world. Food is a central ingredient in our experience of God's goodness.
Many churches are famous for potlucks, pancake breakfasts, and the like. As I write this I’m looking at a case of the new Bangor Liberty Friends Cookbooks. The recipes begin with Mary Davis’s “Apple Dip” and ends with “Two Tone Potato Wedges” by Karen Hammers. Between these two bookends are over one hundred and thirty pages of treasured recipes that have been passed down through the years, some guarded as if they were State secrets. I look forward to many meals with the Bangor Liberty family, maybe enough to make it through all the recipes in this cookbook. That seems like at least an enjoyable goal. –Pastor Matt Bishop
Monday Night Bible Study
Something New! On the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, Pastor Matt will conduct a Bible study of Matthew from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the church. This is a casual, very informal study, with a good deal of discussion. This is an opportunity for those who teach classes for DEEPER and Sunday School to have a chance to sit in a class and be fed as well. Everyone is welcome.
New Bangor Liberty Cookbooks are Here!
Our new cookbooks have arrived and are available at the church for $10 each. Checks should be made out to Bangor Liberty Friends Church when you pick up your copy of the cookbook. Contact the church office if you wish to have a copy mailed to you. Additional fees will be charged for mailing.
A big thank you to Karen Hammers, Leah Higgins and Mollee Patten for their work on compiling our new cookbook!
Our mission’s emphasis for the October-November-December quarter will be Mesquakie Friends. On Sunday, October 16th during the Sunday School hour, Mac and Berny McDonald will be here to share about their work at Mesquakie Friends, and bring us updates.
It’s Time for a New Directory!
It’s been over 3 years since our last church directory was done. We now have another opportunity to participate in the making of a new directory! Lifetouch portrait sessions will be held Friday, October 21st from 2:00-9:00 pm and Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at our church. For participating in our photography event, each family will receive a complimentary 8 x 10 portrait. To schedule your photography session, go to the church website (www.blfchurch.org) and click on the Lifetouch link and follow the directions for scheduling. Other information has been placed in your mailboxes at the church. If you have questions, see Pastor Matt.
Jammin’ with Friends…October 22nd
Davenport Friends Church-New Beginnings
1915 Ridgeview Drive, 11:00am-5:00
A Place Where You Can Begin Again
Come join the church members, the neighborhood and lots of Friends as we celebrate the New Beginnings of Davenport Friends. Hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, bouncy house for the little ones, possible “bonker ball” games, lots of music – gospel, contemporary Christian, traditional hymns and a blue grass jam too, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Volunteers needed to help with food, children and games. Call Tammy Ruffin, Pastor at 563-579-0063.
On Wednesday night, October 26th our Fall/Halloween Party will be held instead of our usual DEEPER classes and meal. We will have games for all ages including: Bingo, relay races for those young at heart, games for the toddlers. Pizza will be provided. Bring a side dish to share. The party will start at 6:15 pm. Come in your favorite costume. If you are interested in donating some candy let Jo Macy know.
Volunteers Needed: The House of Compassion needs volunteers to staff their Supply Closet. (Over 500 eligible clients choose 3 personal household items each month.) The requirements for this job include a welcoming smile and willingness to visit with the clients, knowing your ABC’s for general filing, being able to lift 1-2# jugs of laundry soap, etc. to give to clients, and occasionally stocking shelves. We want to have 2 people for each shift. 1 more worker is needed at each of the following times: Mondays 9:50-12:00; Wednesdays 12:50-4:30; Thursdays 12:50-4:40; and the 1st Tuesday of each month 9:50-12:00. If you are available or have questions call Karen at 752-5999. Please remember to prayer for Karen and the HOC clients. I have found that giving my time to HOC often brings blessings in return. Margaret Good and the Supply Closet Team
Help Fill the Supply Closet Shelves-HOC
Did you know that only 5% of Marshall County residents are unemployed, but 13% live on under $23,850 for a family of 4? The notion that people in poverty aren't working simply isn’t true. Many work 2 jobs. About one in 10 adults in Marshall County are living in poverty. (Statistics from MICA.)
Each month over 500 households come to HOC to choose 3 items from the Supply Closet that cannot be purchased with food stamps. Needs are growing while donations shrink. In October BLFC will join other churches to fill the shelves at HOC for the fall season.
The items most needed at this time include:
Dish soap, laundry soap, men’s 3-in-1 bath wash/shampoo/conditioner, and baby diapers: size 3, 4, & 5, shaving cream, shampoo, cold and flu medicine. Please bring items or $$ by Sunday, October 30th. Most can be purchased at the Dollar Tree.
HOC MEAL REPORT:
19 people were involved in providing meals for 67 guests. We offered chicken & noodle gravy on mashed potatoes, corn or green beans, mixed fruit, leftover salads, baby tomatoes, cupcakes or chocolate cake, milk and coffee.
Thanks to our great volunteers: Chuck & Ann, Bob & Veronica, Don & Joyce, Larry & Dani, Rick & Lora, Bill & Rosalee, James & Sharon who provided food or funds; Betty, Vi, Neil, Darla and Jo G who helped with the meal, and 2 new friends: John & Jacob.
Our next meal will be October 27. October is when we help to fill the shelves of the Supply Closet.
Thank you so very much for all of your prayers, cards and notes of encouragement! They meant so very much to me in my recovery. Shirley Davis