Grace Abounds!
Sermon writing and worship preparations are a holy art. I prayerfully engage the living word with imagination, curiosity, and an openness for the Spirit to dance!
My hope as your pastor through “Neeley’s Notions” is to offer stories and perspectives to ignite your own imagination, curiosity, and openness to the Spirit. - this will be a periodical email offering as the Spirit leads!
This Notion has a bit of a twist to it: a living sermon found around the tables of First Presbyterian Church Covington!
Pull up a seat and join us around the table! 
The Importance of Church Family Dinners
In our Gospel According to Ted Lasso bible study, we have been reflecting on God's call on our lives, our identity found in Christ, the gifts of honesty and authenticity, and the significance of food. 
"Throughout the second episode of Apple TV's hit show, Ted Lasso, food plays a central role...all of it centers around relationships. Building, cultivating, listening and learning. Ted Lasso's use of food is that bridge into other people's lives."
-Rev. Matthew Titus
(author of The Gospel According Ted Lasso: "Finding God's love within a show about being out of place, but being in the right place all along")
Breaking bread is a vital part of our life in community. We had this precious time of gathering around the table with our larger community temporarily taken from us during the heights of COVID. All the more reason, I see an essential need to gather around the table of fellowship and food as a church family! Setting the table of community is an invitation to share our stories, break down barriers, listen to one another, laugh together as the body of Christ, serve one another, and welcome all. 
We experience throughout scripture Jesus sitting down to share a meal: in homes, at wedding feasts, on the seashore, in the upper room. Relationships are created and celebrated. 
When we participate in the breaking of bread as a community, a family of faith, faith formation happens. God is present with us. We share in the sacred stories of who we are and who God is creating us to be. Children learn they have a place at the table. Beliefs, spiritual gifts, family values, and Christian practices are shared around the table; molding us into a beloved community. 
The gift of being present around the table: community and connection.
"The Turquoise Table Kristin's Story" by Kristin Schell
Sharing A Table
As we prepare to break bread together at Soul Feast on Wednesday Nights from 5pm-6pm, I invite you to email me pictures of the kitchen tables and dining tables in your home. Share your favorite family recipe. Reflect on meal time experiences where you have been passed the plate of grace and served a dish of love. 
A family recipe of Catherine's for her Aunt Julia's Apple Cake. She edits this and wanted to be the first to share.
"Sorry its so messy! That's how you know its a good one!"
Our Family Table
I spent time reflecting about the tables in my life as I worked on all the logistics that go in to planning church family suppers. I remembered the table that I grew up sitting around in our home. This same table was host to our family until recent years. You can see all the love on this table - the art projects, the stains, the scratches.
Oh, if this table could speak!

And now I am looking forward to creating space for new tables of fellowship and food with you! I hope to see you at Soul Feast on Wednesday nights this May!
My childhood kitchen table hosting my children many years later!
Picture of Paisley and Kately, 2016
Neeley Rentz Lane
On the Menu for May 4th:
Chef Steve Kapp
Smoked Chicken
Mac & Cheese
Collard Greens
Candied Yams
Green Beans