Friday, May 15, 2009

Communion, Community

I'd like to remind you all that the 2009 Revival DVDs are now available through the UUCF Bookstore. Experience the Opening Worship and "useful righteousness" and the Keynote Worship featuring Bishop Carlton Pearson's Words of Life sermon. Watch for your own reflection. Share with your small group. Each DVD can be purchased for $15, shipping included, or you can order both for just $25. Buy multiple sets at the discount price of $20 a set. Such a deal!

Sharing the DVDs in your small group is a way to foster community and to extend the spiritual connection with UU Christians all over the world. One of the purposes of the UUCF Revival--and the UUCF--is to help build connections among us and to remind us that we are not alone. There are others who catch the spirit of Jesus as we do and who find God in many wonderous ways. At Revival, we regularly heard and experienced suggestions and ideas that we could integrate into our home fellowship groups.

Early Saturday evening, we joined in a Communion Service, led by Rev. Lillie Mae Henley. I have always been taught that the Communion service is a meal, commemorating the Passover meal on Holy Thursday that Jesus shared with his friends. If you look through the Gospels, you'll also notice that Jesus does a lot of eating and drinking with friends...and strangers and the curious and the outcast. I love that image of gathering around a table (even if it's an elegant altar and not my beat-up kitchen table) and reconnecting. Rev. Henley's sermon was touching and heartbreaking at the same time for she gave us the life of Jesus from his mother's perspective in Mary's own voice. And Mary had a mother's story to tell. Of her hopes and dreams for her son, of her confusion over his choices, of her deep sorrow at his death. The sermon reminded me that we share life around those dinner tables and breakfast tables. We create our communities at our meals, our picnics, our tailgate parties, our communion services. Take a look at the Communion Service on the UUCF Revival website. Use it, adapt it to bring communion to your own small group.

Later that Saturday night, those of us who had not yet traveled home gathered at a Tulsa restaurant called The Local Table. This was the day of the spring snow storm, and we drove through 6-inch slush to reach the restaurant. Most businesses in town had closed because of the storm, and the owners were delighted that we had not cancelled our reservation. Being a restaurant that uses locally grown food, they were looking forward to our large group. We found seats for 25 of us in a small room with the feeling of a darkened, cozy study with sleek furniture. Space was a little tight, but the conversation and energy flowed around the room and strengthened our bonds. Excellent food, excellent company. Communion.

The last official Revival gathering was the Closing Circle, led by Rev. Suzanne Meyer. At this traditional Revival ceremony, we formed a large circle to pray for safe journeys and to lift up special intentions and our home churches. One-by-one, we shared two things. The first was what we would take with us from the weekend, what would we remember, what would "keep us going".

The second was unexpectedly powerful to me. That was to simply state where we were traveling that day. This was the first time throughout the entire weekend that I grasped the geographic scope of the Revival participants. People had come from every corner and area of the US and from Canada. Though we are many, we are one body. Communion.

Where do you experience Communion in your life? In the past month, when did you experience the most tangible sense of connection, of community?


  1. Thanks so much, LaVerne, for the notice about the DVDs being available to buy on-line. Also, your blog is very nice and an excellent reminder of a wonderful event. I LOVED Revival and look forward to Oct. 2010.
    eileen klees

  2. You're welcome, Eileen. This blog has been a great way to connect with people from all over and to share the teachings of Jesus. Have a blessed day!