The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.


Sharing Meals

I was reading a Henri Nouwen daily devotional book this morning, and he had several entries about the significance of sharing meals together. I have been reflecting on our shared meals, whether they be sitting together at a restaurant, extravagant dinners where everyone brings a dish, or just cups of coffee and chai, and personally find great significance in them. Nouwen's words are much better than mine though, so I'll post them in the comments.


Jesse said...

The Meal That Makes Us Family And Friends

"We all need to eat and drink to stay alive. But having a meal is more than eating and drinking. It is celebrating the gifts of life we share. A meal together is one of the most intimate and sacred human events. Around the table we become vulnerable, filling one another's plates and cups and encouraging one another to eat and drink. Much more happens at a meal than satisfying hunger and quenching thirst. Around the table we become family, friends, community, yes, a body.

When we say, "Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don't be shy, enjoy it," we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion...Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another.

Today fast-food services and TV dinners have made common meals less and less central. But what will there be to remember when we no longer come together around the table to share a meal? Can we make the table a hospitable place, inviting kindness, gentleness, joy, and peace and creating beautiful memories?"

- taken from "Bread for the Journey" by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Greg said...

LIke Jesse, I also find great significance in our meals together. I think Nouwen is spot on in questioning the ramifications of a fast-food/tv dinner society. I am thankful we have chosen to incorporate meals into our gatherings and believe it will only make us grow closer (in spite of an occasional undercooked dessert).

Nick Johnson said...

Jesse, thanks for the post. This is interesting because I've been doing a lot of thinking and research on how we define ourselves as individuals lately. Basically, at least as a lot of people argue, we are defined and formed by the community we are in and how we interact. Here, I'll quote a psychologist, Heidi J. Figueroa Sarriera, “Taking part in the semiotic exchanges of communication is the basic requirement for the formation and transformation of personal identity as an integrated and coherent entity.”

The meal allows us to both give and receive, serve and be served. There are few other opportunities for this sort of give and take. Most of our daily activities (including eating) have been streamlined into one of the two, giving or taking something. If we believe these academics (which can be dangerous...) that means as part of our identities we are never are able to give and take at the same time.

I think God wants us in that kind of relationship - constantly experiencing his love, giving to members of our community, receiving from all people's of the world, and sharing our thoughts with God. A meal is pretty good practice, it seems to me.

Greg, I have greatly enjoyed every desert thus far.