Posts from 2021


As we continue our journey through Lent, we use our senses to reflect on the events of Jesus’ life and death, also called the Passion, and once again we imagine gathering for Bread and Broth. We are invited to think on these weekly words and watch the video message on our website.

Touch (Who Touched Me)
Taste (Taste and See that the Lord is good)

Today we consider the gift of touch. Imagine the feel of the door handle as you enter the building, your hands reaching into pockets and purses for the money you’ll put into the basket for our America for Christ offering. Imagine making contact with church members…shaking hands, holding hands, and giving hugs. Imagine pulling out a chair to sit down at the table, reaching for the Table Talk sheet, lifting the soup spoon, using your napkin, passing the bread and pouring cups of water. Imagine the feel of your hands folded in prayer as we share concerns of the church family. Perhaps Sue Shontell makes Loaded Potato soup, or Barbara Brant makes Stuffed Pepper soup. Perhaps Rick Tourjee makes Chili, or Marilyn Baird makes Chicken Tortilla soup. Perhaps Candy Zeppieri and Carolyn Land bring a variety of breads for the meal. Think of the words of blessing from a hymn: “Here would I touch and handle things unseen.”

Think of the ministry of Jesus and how it must have felt…touching the outcast in healing and mercy, washing the feet of his disciples in service and love; breaking bread, casting nets, and blessing children; calming a storm with his hand. Think of his wrists bound in captivity, his face kissed in betrayal, his body nailed to a cross. Touch can bring pleasure or pain; it can be welcomed or unwanted; it can heal or hurt. Touch can be healthy or inappropriate, intimate or intrusive, safe or deadly, gentle or firm. Where do we most feel the hand of God in our lives? And how can we touch others with grace?

God, we thank you for the gift of touch.
We thank you for the opportunity
to give and receive through our hands, our bodies.
We thank you for the ability to communicate
in ways that need no words or sounds.
God who touches us, give us that sense
which leads us to closer contact with you.
May we use this gift of touch to reassure, to assist, to guide.
Nudge us, urge us, shove us along the path
on which we can feel your presence.
May our hands feel for you. May our lips smile for you.
May our muscles move for you. May our bodies speak for you
the language of love. Amen.
(By Kevin Scully)

As we continue our journey through Lent, we use our senses to reflect on the events of Jesus’ life and death, also called the Passion, and once again we imagine gathering for Bread and Broth. We are invited to think on these weekly words and watch the video message on our website.

Smell (An Odor Pleasing to the Lord)
Touch (Who Touched Me)
Taste (Taste and See that the Lord is good)

Today we consider the gift of smell.
Imagine the scents and smells filling the church hallway and wafting around the Purple Room…
the blended aromas of tonight’s meal, the perfumes and colognes of all the participants,
the enticing smell of scented candles burning, the fresh hint of spring in the air.
Breathe in the prayer concerns of the church family; breathe out the prayers of our own hearts.
Perhaps Burt Crooks makes Mulligatawny soup, or Elaine Henschel makes Tortellini soup.
Perhaps Marilyn Rodearmel makes her corn bread, or Sarah Adams brings other breads.
We inhale the words of grace over the meal, exhale our gratitude for all who prepared it.

Think of the odors that might have risen from the table at the Last Supper…
unleavened bread and wine, bitter herbs and spices, sweetened dates and nuts.
Think of the aromas associated with the Garden of Gethsemane and the Hill at Golgotha…
the scent of trees and flowers, the stench of dust and decay, the smell of sorrow and fear.
Think of the pure ointment poured out over the head of Jesus…
the strong fragrance filling the house, the costly perfume condemned as wasteful,
the woman gently affirmed for such an extravagant gift of love…
her act of preparation for his burial, the gospel told everywhere in memory of her.
Which aromas are most pleasing to God? Which scents call us to deeper faith, greater action?

Eternal God, we thank you for the myriad signs of your creation
which we detect in our sense of smell.
May we relish those gifts which communicate their beauty
in a way that enhances them.
We give thanks for our enjoyment of flowers and gardens,
for the delight we sense in cooking.
We also ask that we do not turn
from the more unpleasant aspects of life
communicated through this sense.
May we use this gift to inform ourselves of what is about us,
and, where we can, to act to correct any decay.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
(By Kevin Scully)

As we continue our journey through Lent, we use our senses to reflect on the events of Jesus’ life and death, also called the Passion, and once again we imagine gathering for Bread and Broth. We are invited to think on these weekly words and watch the video message on our website.

Sound (Blessed are Those Who Hear)
Smell (An Odor Pleasing to the Lord)
Touch (Who Touched Me)
Taste (Taste and See that the Lord is good)

Today we consider the gift of sound. Imagine the sound of many voices as we gather in the Purple Room…spirited conversations around the tables, eruptions of laughter, quiet moments of discussion. Listen for the prayer concerns of the church family, and those unspoken, yet still in our hearts. Perhaps Li Ling Liu makes Coconut Chicken soup, Catherine Hiller makes Hungarian Mushroom. Perhaps Joan and Jerry Watkins bring the bread for us to share tonight. Listen for words of grace over the meal, our gratitude for all who prepared and provided for us.

Recall the voices of Jesus and his disciples as they gathered in homes and on hillsides…Who do people say that I am? What have you to offer? Why do you doubt? Let those who have ears to hear, listen. Your faith has made you well. Make a joyful noise to the Lord. Speak, O Lord, for your servants are listening. Hear the table talk around us as we consider tonight’s questions and share our thoughts…Which noises bring us anguish? Which sounds bring us comfort? How do we listen for the still small voice of God? Where do we hear the good news?

Lord God, you have promised to hear the prayers of those who call on you.
May we also hear your call.
Let us listen to those who call on us.
May their cries for help, understanding, or assistance
be heard in our minds and hearts.
We give thanks for the sounds around us –
the singing of the birds, the joys of music, and the delight of speech.
May we also cherish and give to others that gift of silence,
a gift in which you also speak to those who listen.
May we hear the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ,
and may we make joyful sounds to proclaim Jesus’ message
of love, repentance and forgiveness.
We ask you to hear our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(By Kevin Scully)

As we begin our journey through Lent, we sense that it is still not safe enough for us to gather on Wednesday evenings, sharing food and fellowship around the tables. In place of that favorite time-honored tradition (which, according to my memory, we have been doing for at least fifteen years), we would like to offer you some “Bread and Broth for the Soul.”

Each Wednesday during the five weeks of Lent we will send out these weekly words, lifting a different theme for reflection and posting a video message on our website. Our program will be “Sensing the Passion,” and each week we will consider a new sense:

Sight (Seeing is Believing)
Sound (Blessed are Those Who Hear)
Smell (An Odor Pleasing to the Lord)
Touch (Who Touched Me)
Taste (Taste and See that the Lord is good)

Tonight we invite you to picture people gathering in the Purple Room. Imagine the tables set with purple tablecloths and place settings…utensils, napkins, salt and pepper shakers, candles. Imagine bread baskets lined with purple fabric and filled with a variety of breads…a basket at the door receiving gifts to the America for Christ offering. Imagine friends and families greeting one another, getting caught up on the week’s events…taking time to share prayer concerns and thank those who have provided the meal.

Perhaps Peg Straub made chicken noodle soup, or Pat Tootell made Butternut Squash soup. Perhaps Gail Neff brought the bread, or Marilyn Benson made the cheddar biscuits. Picture the kitchen crew preparing and moving among us, serving hot bowls of nourishment. Picture the many faces as we say grace, enjoy the meal, have conversation, and pray. Picture the single sheet of paper on each table, suggesting topics for table talk, asking…What do we see these days? What are we NOT able to see? What does God want us to see?

God, we give thanks for the gift of sight. May we use it to see more clearly.
Let us be joyful for the many shades of light and color which it can discern.
May we remember that our view is one view.
Even when it becomes part of a broader picture,
let us recall it is never the complete, overall view.
We give thanks for the Savior,
for Jesus’ vision of purpose and Jesus’ compassionate sight on us.
May the power of your sustaining Spirit bring what we see into the unifying vision of you…
We ask this through our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(By Kevin Scully)