Moderator Mardi’s Blog: One bread, one body

Last week the bread bakers of Wilmot United Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick, reported in. These good folks had just finished preparing 2,297 packages of flour to be sent across our beloved church—and were getting ready to do more! Each of our church’s 13 Conferences was asked to provide locally milled flour. The folks at Wilmot are now mixing this flour with other dry ingredients and packaging the blend to be made available across the United Church so each local congregation or ministry can add its own ingredients to create a Common Loaf for the celebration of communion on Anniversary Sunday, June 6, from coast to coast to coast. (For more on this and other celebratory initiatives, check out the 85th Anniversary page on The United Church of Canada website.)

Today (Thursday, March 18) these fine bread bakers will finish the job. Here’s the way the Rev. Christopher Levan suggests we picture the activity at 10:00 a.m. EDT: about 25 people (oldest is 87, youngest is 18) busily filling small bags with the starter ingredients and setting them beside a circle of 10 folks stapling tags on the packets—as they tell jokes, sing some songs, and enjoy the dream of making a common loaf for all our congregations. As he says, “A spirit of hope made real.”

I imagine them singing “One Bread, One Body,” #467 in Voices United. Thanks, Wilmot bread bakers, for bearing witness to the truth of the second verse:

Many the gifts,
many the works,
one in the Lord of all.

Wilmot bakers are nourishing the ways of soul, community, and creation. We are inspired and grateful.

I’m looking forward to participating in all kinds of imaginative anniversary celebrations, including leading morning prayers at the June 10th Open House at the General Council Office, and preaching at the late-afternoon interactive webcast service from Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, on Sunday, June 20. And I’m noodling the many reasons to make a special anniversary gift to the Mission and Service Fund.

What gifts and works are you planning to bring to the celebrations?