Church kitchens are holy places. You hear more about the sanctuary, maybe, with its candles and organ music and fancy names for everything. The plate is a paten. The cup is a chalice. I just learned a new name for the water-sprinkling thingy this week, and I have a master's degree in this stuff. (It's "aspergillum," by the way, as the acolytes will tell you.)
In the kitchen, on the other hand, a plate is a plate. A cup is a cup. There's a lot of water, but it doesn't get fancy containers or labels. And yet...
The church kitchen is where I learned, even as a toddler, that meal prep can be way more fun than the meal itself.
The church kitchen is where I learned that you should
eat dessert first, because life is good, and God created chocolate, after all. This was major good news and grace for a little kid who liked to follow the rules.
And the church kitchen was our unofficial youth group hangout, where we did just as much community building as we did in the youth room. The draw was the stash of stale hot chocolate packets, believe it or not. Plus, there was a back door, so it was possible to escape the notice of adults for a little while between services.
In college, the church gave us a key code so we could study there at all hours, and they told us that we could eat anything we found in the kitchen ... anything! One night, wired from studying and way too much sitting still, we had a terrible and awesome food fight with a big vat of dinner mints. It was so bad that we had to mop the floor. We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.
The church kitchen is a place community happens. It's the place you might chat about your kid going off to school or a recent loss in the family...the hurricane that just won't quit...maybe, if you're brave, a little politics.
But it's a place where, even if we don't have anything in common, we can come together, united by a common task. And it's one place we live out the grace we receive around the communion table, breaking our community open for a hungry world.
This week, we are in the midst of a major kitchen renovation here at
GSLC, so that we can create even more beautiful and functional space for moments like these. We are getting this holy ground ready for encounters with the God we see in everyone who is hungry and thirsty (and sometimes, that's us).
YOU to everyone who has helped with this project so far. A special thank you to Jeff McCauslin and the demolition crew of all ages that worked hard last Saturday. We hope the project will be done by Rally/Raleigh day, so stop in and check out the upgrades on your way to worship, or your service project, or one of the food trucks that we be here on 9/10.
And let's all get ready to make more holy memories in this place.
See you Sunday,