August 14th Newsletter
There is not much that is more enjoyable than sharing a meal with friends, and there’s not much more foundational to our faith. In a world when not everyone has enough to eat, every meal is an occasion for gratitude.
I’m remembering three meals I shared this summer with DaySpring friends while on sabbatical. In June we arrived in Maine after a long, long road trip to get there. (This is a very large country as it turns out!) Soon we read in a guidebook a glowing review of nearby Beal’s Lobster Shack. Remembering old DaySpringer Matt Beal was from Maine, I sent Matt a note, “Beal’s Lobster Shack . . .Is that you?” He replied, “Yes! It was in my family for four generations. We’re here now. Want to have dinner?” Matt and Anna taught us how to select and eat lobster which is no small feat. During the evening we heard stories of the Beal family’s commitment to the craft of catching and preparing their lobsters. It was a labor of love and the results were evident in every bite and in the spirit of the place.
The second meal, in July, was shared with the pilgrimage group to Italy. Mention La Mandrie to them and their eyes will tear up and mouths water. La Mandrie is a 1000 year old monastery converted over the last twenty years into a zero-kilometer agri-tourismo. Every ingredient in every course in that magnificent feast is raised and grown organically and sustainably on their farm, prepared in their kitchen, and served with care and pride. It’s more than farm-to-table, it’s table-at-the-farm. La Mandrie models a relationship with the land honoring the Christian spirit of the kinship with all the creatures. The two brothers who own and run it, in restoring La Mandrie, have given life to what was crumbling, and showing us all how our lives are connected to the land and to our heritage.
The third meal, in August, was shared with DaySpringers Randy and Nancy Cox in Seattle on the very last day on my sabbatical. They took us to one of their favorite seafood restaurants for a seafood boil. It was one of those places where they dump a huge pot of seafood right on the table and you dig in. That was fun, and delicious, but the best part was seeing our old friends, marking the end of this season in my life with a celebration feast.
Two farthest corners of this country and one abroad, three meals, lots of laughs, and a remembrance that when we break bread together we share the earth’s bounty and the friendship of those at the Table. This Sunday, we share the All-Church Breakfast. Bring your best (or Shipley’s best) or just bring yourself. Let’s begin the fall season around the table with new and old friends, making some memories, sharing stories of the summer, and blessings for the days ahead of us.
God’s peace be with you. See you Sunday,
For more news and information, click HERE for the August 14th newsletter.