MAY 18, 2016
This Week at Grace

Feeding Our Community with His Bread

Dear Grace,

One of my favorite books, and favorite testimonies of faith, is Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles. Miles is a writer and former journalist, living in San Francisco, who chronicles her journey of conversion to Christianity. She grew up without a faith, in fact, skeptical of faith; she reported on leftist wars in Latin America, worked as a cook in kitchens, and was an out lesbian with a young daughter. She did not believe she needed church or the church needed her.

One day, out for a walk in the Mission District, she passed St. Gregory of Nyssa church, like she did many days, but for some reason on this day she was compelled to walk in. She sat in the back, never having experienced church before: no context for the liturgy or the prayers, never having read the Bible. But she DID recognize an invitation that was for her. As the priest lifted the loaf and raised the cup, he said this is for YOU. For all who hunger; come and receive.

And she'll never know what compelled her, but she went forward and she took the bread. And her life, and the life of her community, was never the same. She writes:

"The meal remained, through all the centuries, more powerful than any attempts to manage it. It reconciled, if only for a minute, all of God's creation, revealing that, without exception, we were members of one body, God's body, in endless diversity. The feast showed us how to re-member what had been dis-membered by human attempts to separate and divide, judge and cast out, select or punish. At that Table, sharing food, we were brought into the ongoing work of making creation whole."

Answering an open, radically loving invitation to the table began her journey to faith, and she is now on staff at the church as the deacon. The book is about her conversion to the faith, primarily through her ministry to start a food pantry at the very same altar where she first received the bread she so desperately needed. She read scripture for the first time and thought: if Jesus really tells us to feed his sheep, and I take Jesus seriously, then I must feed! She writes:

"There's a hunger beyond food that's expressed in food, and that's why feeding is always a kind of miracle." 

At Grace, feeding is at the center of our vision. This Sunday, May 22nd, at 12:15pm you are invited to gather in the Grace Café to help dream, plan and vision for the 2016/2017 program year as we focus on Jesus' command to feed his sheep; come to his table to be nourished and take that table out into the world. We'll share ideas for studies, worship, mission and justice that center on the theme of food. All are welcome and we encourage you to come. RSVP to Calissa so we have a count for lunch: CDauterman@graceonponce.org.

Also, this week is the final week of The United Methodist Church's General Conference, a once every four year gathering of United Methodists from all over the world who conference together to discern the direction of our church.
Please continue to join me in prayer for our church so that the Holy Spirit may continue to speak in the manner of Pentecost, people from around the world will perpetually proclaim in many languages that love prevails.

See you for our HELP Ministry outing on Saturday, May 21st at 9am and worship Sunday at 11am. Think about who you can invite!
 
Grace and Peace,

Kate



Calendar

Calendar of Events

THIS Saturday, May 21
HELP Ministry, 9am, Middle Parking Lot

Sunday, May 22
Grace Planning 2016-2017, 12:30pm, Grace Cafe

Tuesday, May 24
Needles and Prayers, 7pm

Wednesday, May 25
Women's Group (Bible study and fellowship), 7pm, Calissa's home

Thursday, June 2
Grace Reads, 7pm, Starbucks in Whole Foods Ponce Plaza

Wednesday, June 8
Women's Group (Bible study and fellowship), 7pm, Calissa's home

Thursday, June 9
Church Council Meeting, 6:30pm, Grace Cafe

Tuesday, June 14
Needles and Prayers, 7pm


Event Spotlight
HELP Ministry
THIS Saturday, May 21st, 9am, Middle Parking Lot

Grace's HELP Ministry collects necessities to share with Atlanta's homeless community: reading glasses, toiletries, food items, blankets and warm weather clothing, bibles, washcloths, socks, razors and more.

Our next HELP Ministry outing is Saturday, May 21st at 9am. Meet in the Grace UMC Middle Parking Lot. Questions? Please contact Steve or Laura Weldon.


Sharing Our Gifts
Give to Grace. Safe, secure, one-time or recurring, tax-deductible giving is available by visiting www.graceonponce.org/donate or by scanning the below QR code.

Your gifts make a difference in the lives of our church and community.

And remember that Grace's financial documents are open and available. Simply email our financial assistant, Nora Harris (nharris@graceonponce.org) with any questions you may have.

Thank you for your faithful support of the work that God is doing through Grace Church!



GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
458 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
404-876-2678

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